Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"If God be for us..."

In my youth, over the course of a year or so when I should have been reading other things, I read the entire collection of Agatha Christie mysteries — all of Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommie and Tuppence, etc. I don't believe I have ever re-read any of them, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the various film and television versions, especially David Suchet's portrayal of Hercule Poirot. Suchet is a Christian and that may be the reason Poirot's faith comes through in some of the filmed versions (e.g. Murder on the Orient Express). Now The Guardian informs us that David Suchet has recorded the entire Bible between Poirot performances:
David Suchet has spent the past 25 years playing Hercule Poirot in ITV's adaptations of Agatha Christie's Belgian detective stories.... ...[I]n the past year, as he has recorded the final episodes of the 70-part Poirot series...the 67-year-old actor has pursued a passion project. He has spent 200 hours recording the entire Bible from Genesis to the Book of Revelation – 752,702 words, in his deep, melodic, unrushed voice. ....

The extent of Suchet's commitment surfaced when "In the Footsteps of St Paul," a two-part documentary he made for BBC1, won the premier prizes at the Sandford St Martin's Trust religious programme awards in June. To accompany those Christmas programmes....he recorded "The Acts and Letters of St Paul," which were released without fanfare by Hodder. A further instalment of The Gospels followed at Easter. But the executive producer of the St Paul programmes, Ray Bruce, struck fertile ground when he suggested that Suchet record the entire Bible with him. The studio was just south of Tower Bridge, opposite Suchet's home on the Thames. "He always arrived prepared, for three-hour sessions … And then he went on to perform on stage. It was the most remarkable thing I have ever done in 40 years," said Bruce.

He is clear it was about "David Suchet's personal journey". The background is that St Paul is very close to the actor's heart because he was converted to Christianity when reading a Bible in a hotel room in 1986. Suchet's moment of epiphany came with St Paul's epistle to the Romans, chapter eight, in which the evangelist lays out the Christian hope of salvation....

Poirot has been shown in more than 100 countries, and it is estimated that between 600-700 million have watched Suchet's portrayal.

The Bible recording will be an "enhanced" ebook and will offer readers/listeners the choice of picking out a chapter and listening at the same time. In true Christian spirit, he is donating the fee for his 200 hours of work to charity. [more]
David Suchet records entire Bible between Poirot performances | Books | guardian.co.uk