The Hollow

Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery (Drawing Room Mystery)
Time Period: The Present
Format: 3 Acts
Characters: 6 Male, 6 Female
Setting/Sets: 1 Set, 2 Scenes in Act 2
Reviewer: C. T. Cawley 
3 / 4 Stars

Background and Summary

The Hollow is an adaptation of Christie’s book of the same name, a Hercule Poirot story. For the play, she eliminated Poirot and inserted Inspector Colquhoun. This story is barely a mystery; it primarily revolves around romantic interests of the characters and their infidelity resulting in murder. The play was first produced in London at Fortune Theater, June 7th , 1951.


The action takes place in the garden room of Sir Henry Angkatell’s country house near London. Conflicts in the plot relate to the following romantic interests: John Cristow, married to Gerda Cristow (a faithful wife), is involved romantically with Henrietta Angkatell. Midge Harvey and Edward Angkatell are second cousins to Sir Henry. Midge carries the torch for Edward, whom she thinks is in love with Henrietta. On the scene comes Veronica Clay, a successful actress with whom John Cristow was once engaged to marry, renting a small bungalow in the neighborhood of The Hollow. After she appears there on a pretext, he spends the night at her residence. Among this tangle of affairs, John Cristow is shot with one of two identical revolvers the family is using for target practice. Gerda is found after the murder standing over the corpse with a revolver in her hand, the apparent murderer. In the following investigation by Inspector Colquhoun, doubt is cast on the probability that it really was Gerda who shot John, because the revolver she held was not the murder weapon. In the end, Gerda confesses and explains her plan to divert attention from her.


There are no features of the set that would make it particularly difficult to produce.

MPAA Rating

If this play were rated according to MPAA guidelines, it would be PG. Affection between couples shown by kissing and other familiar romantic gestures is minimal but present.


There are no factors relating to lighting, staging or sound that would make production of this play more difficult than normal.