Poirot (1989–2013)
27 user

Three Act Tragedy 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | Episode aired 19 June 2011
When a vicar chokes to death on a cocktail while attending a party held by actor Sir Charles Cartwright, Poirot initially dismisses the idea of murder but reconsiders when another guest dies in the same manner.


Ashley Pearce


Agatha Christie (novel), Nick Dear (screenplay)


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Suchet ... Hercule Poirot
Martin Shaw ... Sir Charles Cartwright
Kimberley Nixon ... Egg
Art Malik ... Sir Bartholomew Strange
Suzanne Bertish ... Miss Milray
Anastasia Hille ... Cynthia Dacres
Ronan Vibert ... Captain Dacres
Kate Ashfield ... Miss Wills
Jane Asher ... Lady Mary
Anna Carteret ... Mrs Babbington
Nigel Pegram ... Reverend Babbington
Tom Wisdom ... Oliver Manders
Michael Hobbs ... Coroner
Jodie McNee ... Annie
James Hurran James Hurran ... French Boy




The inoffensive Reverend Babbington chokes to death at a cocktail party he is attending with his wife at the home of famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright. Some time later Sir Bartholomew Strange, an eminent doctor and friend of Cartwright, also dies of poisoning at a dinner party he is giving miles away. There appears to be no link between the two deaths but Poirot, assisted by Cartwright, offers to help Superintendent Crossfield in the investigation and discovers that a mysterious butler with a birthmark on his wrist was hired for the night and appeared to share a joke with the dead doctor. This man has now vanished and would seem to the killer. A third death, that of a sanatorium patient who has written to Poirot, would appear to link to the doctor's murder and there is certainly a secret which somebody will go to any lengths to conceal - but who would gain from the death of a harmless old vicar? Written by don @ minifie-1

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Cartwright's sitting room in Cornwall is actually Rolf Engstromer's entrance hall at Eltham Palace. The same room (and indeed the exterior) stood in for Wode Hall when the same production company made their version of "Death On The Nile" in 2004. See more »


In train scene with Egg, Poirot and Sir Charles, the reflection in the window as they go through the tunnel is not a true reflection, i.e. the back of her head, but the actual scene laid over the window i.e. NOT a reflection at all. See more »


[first lines]
Sir Charles Cartwright: Ready about. Go about.
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Alternate Versions

In Spanish speaking countries the title is "Tragedia en tres actos". See more »


Version of Murder in Three Acts (1986) See more »


Arabeske Op. 18 in C major
Music by Robert Schumann
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User Reviews

Martin Shaw rules in Theatreland!
16 April 2010 | by igorlongoSee all my reviews

If the direction of this episode is sometimes a bit flat and ( willingly and deliberately,I must say) over-theatrical,the day is saved by the excellent script and by the great acting of Martin Shaw,an endearing,very ironic ham.Suchet is the usual supreme himself,Miss Nixon is a fresh and very promising ingénue and Kate Ashfield is a very intelligent and penetrating Muriel Wills.A very good appetizer for the new season! The story is very faithful to the novel,the final is duly melancholic,the only problem is the exceedingly phoniness of some scenes,certainly due to some budget restrictions,but even more to the decision to give to the movie a sort of theatrical aspect.All considered,if sometimes people seems to walk about among stage props and painted scenery,it could be taken as a signature of the director and not as a real mistake.

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English | French

Release Date:

19 June 2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD) | (9 episodes)


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