Raffles Steals a New Stage Adaptation???
Date: 20 July 2006
Remember AJ Raffles, the “amateur cracksman”? The creation of EW Hornung, brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle, the fictional Raffles was an Edwardian gentleman and top-rated cricketer who supported his life of leisure with a secondary career as a jewel thief. Raffles first appeared in the 1899 short story collection The Amateur Collection which Hornung followed up with further adventures sequels. Graham Greene wrote a stage play (one of just two in the novelist’s career) loosely based on Hornung’s stories, The Return of AJ Raffles, which the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered in 1975 with Denholm Elliot as the gentleman burglar. Philip Mackie adapted it for the 1977 British TV series Raffles, starring Anthony Valentine. Now Rod Beacham – whose one-man play about the late tycoon Robert Maxwell, Lies Have Been Told, has proved a repeat hit at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios – has been commissioned to write a new stage adaptation.
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