Making its first appearance on the London stage in February 1970, Sleuth saw instant success. Moving to Broadway the following November, it won equal praise, even winning a Tony Award in 1971. It was made into a movie in 1972 starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine who then swapped roles in Kenneth Branagh’s 2007 remake, working opposite Jude Law with a script by Harold Pinter.
Part of the success of Sleuth comes from Shaffer's misappropriation of the mechanics of the classic murder mystery. Working on the idea of a whodunit, Shaffer instead created the first of its kind: a whodunwhat.
Sleuth has twists and turns which are both breathtakingly audacious and fiendishly cunning; a perfect mix of suspense and excitement and a brilliant parody of the Agatha Christie country-house thriller.
The play is set in the Wiltshire manor house of Andrew Wyke, an immensely successful mystery writer. He lures his wife's lover, Milo Tindle, to his home and convinces him to stage a robbery of her jewellery, a proposal that sets off a chain of events that blurs the lines between deception and reality.
After all….“It’s only a bloody game!”
Directed by Derek Hollweg