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Liza Goddard swaps comedy roles for Christie classic

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 12, 2013

  • going very well: Liza Goddard stars as Miss Williams in Go Back for Murder

  • extraordinary experience: Liza in Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Life of Riley

  • TIMELESS CLASSIC: A scene from Go Back For Murder

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NOW in its eighth thrilling year, the Agatha Christie Theatre Company presents a new production of the Queen of Crime's timeless classic Go Back For Murder.

The production comes to the Princess Theatre, Torquay, from September 16 to 21.

Suspects, secrets, and suspense abounds in this play starring Liza Goddard, star of such TV hits as Bergerac and the long-running quiz show Give Us A Clue; Sophie Ward, whose extensive TV and film career most recently includes the award-winning BBC period drama series Land Girls, ITV's Heartbeat, BBC's Holby City and the 2011 film Jane Eyre.

Robert Duncan, who played Gus Hedges in the multi award-winning comedy Drop the Dead Donkey; Gary Mavers, best known for playing the heart-throb doctor Andrew Attwood in Peak Practice.

Lysette Anthony, known to television audiences in the BBC sitcom Three Up, Two Down, ITV's soap opera Night and Day and in Woody Allen's award winning film Husbands and Wives; and Ben Nealon, perhaps best known for his role as Capt Jeremy Forsythe from the long running ITV drama Soldier Soldier.

The plot revolves around Carla Le Marchant who has learnt a disturbing family secret: her mother, Caroline Crale, died in prison after being convicted of killing her father.

Leaving an intriguing legacy in the form of a letter, Caroline professes her innocence and, believing this to be true, Carla becomes determined to clear her mother's name.

Enlisting the help of Justin Fogg, the son of her mother's defence lawyer, Carla searches out all the players from her tragic history and brings them back to the scene of the crime to uncover the truth.

The tour is in full swing and Liza Goddard is lapping up the applause each night.

"It's going very well indeed," she said.

"I play Miss Williams who is a governess to Angela who is the sister to Caroline. Caroline is convicted of the murder of her husband and her daughter Carla comes back to find to find out whether it's true."

Liza is looking forward to coming to the Bay.

"It's actually Agatha's birthday the day before we start our run in Torquay," said Liza.

"I'm hoping to sort out a trip to her house, Greenway.

"She's such a fabulous writer. This play is so well crafted as it keeps you guessing whodunnit? right until the very end. She's such a clever and timeless writer.

"I think if anyone wants a good night out to exercise their grey cells and be entertained, they should come along."

Liza started out in the acting world at just 15 years old in the Australian children's show Skippy.

"Acting was what I wanted to do and have managed to keep working ever since," she said.

"When I was doing Skippy there wasn't really an industry over there, it was very hot and we worked from 6am until 6pm six days a week for two years. It was hard going, but we enjoyed ourselves tremendously."

More recently Liza, who appeared on Give Us A Clue, has been focussing her career on comedies starring in Dry Rot and Star Quality. "I've spent many years doing comedy and I've been very lucky to work with Alan Ayckbourn in three of his new plays and four revivals. It was an extraordinary experience," she said.

"When you are working with a living legend it's wonderful."

The actress also appeared in cult TV series Doctor Who many years ago.

"I played a Space Pirate," she said.

"We all knew how popular it was and it was such great fun to do. Peter Davidson was the doctor then and he was wonderful."

The former Bergarac actress doesn't mind life on the road and accepts it's part of 'the job'.

"I don't like leaving on a Monday, but once I get to the place where I'm working I generally love it," she said.

"I know more about this country than any of my friends when it comes to places to go and see and I'm looking forward to being in Torquay very much."

Aside from work, Liza loves doing work for animal charities such as the RSPCA and was the president of the Hawk and Owl Trust from 2001 to 2010.

She also works with the good cause Our Disappearing Planet.

"Animal charities are always important to me," said Liza.

"In fact I'm opening a new RSPCA centre in Lincolnshire."

The childhood star has had an extensive TV and stage career and has many highlights.

"Skippy and Woof were wonderful, but working with Alan Akybourn is my top moment," she said.

"It will now be interesting to see what comes up at the end of November when I finish this run."

DAWN ELLIS

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