FOR more than half a century Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest-running stage production. As the show prepares to come to two local theatres, Christie’s grandson MATHEW PRICHARD talks about his famous grandmother.
I SUPPOSE it took some time for it to sink in that I had a famous grandmother known to the world as Agatha Christie. I first remember her during the years when I was at preparatory school and her house at Wallingford was nearby. We used to have “exeats” on Sunday and it was then that the first glimmers of truth came through.
Very sensibly, the headmaster of my school insisted on initialling all books that came into school. I came back from Wallingford clutching the latest Agatha Christie and wondering whether the head could possibly find any reason for withholding the coveted signature. He never did. There was, however, one occasion when my book took a terribly long time to re-appear. Later, I realised the head’s wife had taken the opportunity to read it.
In such small ways, therefore, did I become aware that I had a talented grandmother. Not that it made a great deal of difference to me. She was just a marvellous grandmother and someone nice to have around.
There were three things which, more than anything else, endeared her to me. The first was her modesty. To the outside world I suppose this appeared as shyness, but to us she was always infinitely more interested in what we were thinking and doing than herself.