TR Blog – Kat Smith, Irving Stage Company

One of the best things about theatre is the opportunity it gives you to challenge yourself in many ways. In the past year Irving Stage Company has brought me to Theatre Royal three times in three completely different roles.

I’m in the director’s seat for The Unexpected Guest, our Agatha Christie murder mystery coming to the theatre from 6 to 10 June. It’s my third time directing for the company but I’m normally found onstage, having performed in around eight productions with ISC. I was in the cast for Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 in the Autumn, as a sassy 70s secretary. And for our most recent show, Oklahoma! this March, I found myself taking on the Stage Manager’s role for the first time.

I’ve done a turn as Backstage Manager, and done props and costumes too, but Stage Manager was a real eye-opener. It’s great as a performer to understand, and have a go at, all the types of roles that you can take both on and off stage.

The Unexpected Guest is a great example of Agatha Christie’s genius as a mystery writer. It is one of my favourite of her books, and I was thrilled (pun intended!) when I found out it was available to license as a play.

We are now nearing the end of our rehearsals, and the cast are building up the layers of tension towards the denouement. The plot is full of intrigue and I can’t tell you too much because I’d hate to ruin it for you! What I can say is that it’s set in the 1930s, in a fog-wreathed country house full of secrets. We open to a stage where a murdered man is being stood over by his wife when the unexpected guest himself walks in…she’s holding the gun that killed her husband, but is she guilty?

We’re onstage 6-10 June 2017 and we’d love to see you there to find out!