The Case of the Frightened Lady

The Classic Thriller Theatre Company presents The Case of the Frightened Lady, a new adaptation of the iconic “detective thriller” by Edgar Wallace.

Wallace is largely regarded as one of the most popular writers of the 20th century, and his novels are credited as being the father of the modern thriller. The Case of the Frightened Lady is his most celebrated piece, and has been adapted to film several times. Now, audiences can see the story unfold live on stage – right before their eyes.

The story follows Inspector Tanner, who is called to Mark’s Priory to investigate a murder. The estate is the Lebanon’s ancestral home, but not all is right at the Priory. The household appears to be under the control of the family doctor, and Isla, the secretary, is afraid for her life. The footman of the home act more like guests than servants.

As Tanner’s investigation unfolds, he discovers a closely-guarded and shocking secret.

The production will tour the UK from February through October of next year, with stops at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Regent Theatre, New Victoria Theatre, Milton Keynes Theatre and Theatre Royal Glasgow.

The Case of a Frightened Lady was first adapted to film in 1932 by British thriller director T. Hayes Hunter. The film starred Cathleen Nesbitt, Emlyn Williams, Belle Chrystall and Normal McKinnel.

In the 1932 adaptation, a young woman stays with Lord Lebanon. Two murders quickly lead to the arrival of detectives, and cause the young lady to fear for her life.

The play was again adapted into film in 1940 and was directed by George King. The film starred:

  • Felix Aylmer as Dr. Lester Charles Amersham
  • Ronald Shiner as Sergeant Totty
  • Marius Goring as Lord Lebanon
  • Penelope Dudley Ward as Isla Crane
  • Helen Haye as Dowager Lady Lebanon
  • Patrick Barr as Richard Ferraby
  • George Merritt as William Tanner
  • George Hayes as Brooks
  • Roy Emerton as Gilder
  • Roddy Hughes as Vicar
  • Torin Thatcher as Jim Tilling
  • John Warwick as Studd, The Chauffeur
  • Elizabeth Scott as Mrs. Tilling

The 1940 film was released on DVD in 2008, and was the first time the film had been in public since its original debut in the theatres.

The BBC has also produced two TV versions of the story: one in 1938 and one in 1983.

The all-star cast of the Classic Thriller Company’s adaptation has yet to be announced. The show will tour the UK, with future dates to be announced.