Orient-Express comes ‘off the rails’ to BFI Southbank as part of the BFI Agatha Christie Weekend 18th – 21st November, 2010
11th November, 2010 - For the first time in a decade, Orient-Express will be transporting one of its iconic Art Deco carriages from the luxurious British Pullman train and showcasing as part of BFI Southbank’s special Agatha Christie Weekend. In what would have been this literary legend’s 120th year, Orient-Express and the BFI celebrate the legacy of the world famous Queen of Crime through film and television.
The carriage named ‘Zena’ will be on show and open to the public to step aboard and experience the opulence and glamour of that Golden Age of Travel from Thursday 18th November 2010 to Sunday 21st November inclusive.
Orient-Express has partnered with the BFI Southbank to sponsor their Agatha Christie weekend which commences on Friday 19th November and is three days of film screenings, events and activities, forming part of a year long nationwide celebration of the work of one of Britain’s most treasured authors. Film and TV highlights over the weekend include Hollywood adaptation And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie: Oddities and Rarities, a selection of highlights taken from the archives and the UK premiere of the ITV documentary David Suchet on the Orient-Express. BFI Southbank is also hosting a special Agatha Christie Quiz, open to all to have the chance to win a host of Christie goodies including a very special ‘Murder Mystery’ trip for four aboard the British Pullman train.
Built in 1928, Zena is an original first class parlour car decorated in beautiful Art Deco marquetry. At 63ft long and weighing 42 tonnes, Zena is a lady of impressive stature and transporting her to the Southbank will be quite a feat in itself. But like any glamorous lady, Zena will be making an entrance that is sure to turn heads. On Tuesday 16th November, after being craned off the tracks onto a low-loader in Battersea, she will have a special escort through London before being rolled onto tracks set up especially for her outside ‘Canteen’ restaurant on the Festival Square next to the BFI Southbank (http://tinyurl.com/2u9anzp) leaving more than enough time to get ready for her debut on Thursday 18th November.
Zena and her liveried stewards will welcome the public onboard to experience the luxury and history of the Orient-Express, which captivated the imagination of Agatha Christie, inspiring one of her most famous works ‘Murder on the Orient-Express’. People need not worry about any dastardly deeds going on though, as the official Poirot look-a-like will be on hand to keep an eye on proceedings.
Zena will be open to the public all day during the Agatha Christie celebrations from Thursday 18th November through to and including Sunday 21st November. Those who cannot help but dream of travelling on the Orient-Express after visiting Zena will be able to enter a fantastic competition to win a once in a lifetime journey with Orient-Express. The Grand Prize, worth over £5000, is a trip for two people to Venice with two nights in the famous Hotel Cipriani, before returning to London on board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
For further information on this event- http://www.orient-express.com/bfi
Orient-Express, (NYSE: OEH, www.orient-express.com) the name behind an elite collection of travel experiences, first came into being in 1883 as one of the world’s most exciting and indulgent train journeys. Today that evocative name also embraces hotels, cruises and other luxury rail adventures in 24 countries, across five continents. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it first purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly afterwards, recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today, the company owns or part-owns and manages 50 businesses, 41 of which are highly acclaimed hotels, each unique in style, from the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and Rio’s Copacabana Palace, to the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg and Maroma Resort & Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. There are six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and ‘21’, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.
‘Zena’ - First class parlour car, 24 seats, Art Deco marquetry. Zena was built in 1928 by the Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd. Her service included the Bournemouth Belle between 1929-1946, Queen of Scots and Yorkshire Pullman 1946-1955, Golden Arrow 1955-1960, Queen of Scots 1960-1961 and Tees-Tyne Pullman between 1961-1965. Zena was used in “Agatha” about Agatha Christie in 1976. VSOE acquired her from T. Robinson in 1979. She forms part of the rake that makes up the British Pullman train. The British Pullman offers a year-round schedule of exciting day trips within Great Brtiain and also plays an integral part in the world’s most romantic adventure – a journey from London to Venice or (vice versa) on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
About Agatha Christie
Ninety years after she wrote her first novel, Agatha Christie remains the best-selling author of all time and has, to date, sold over two billion books worldwide. 2010 is also the 80th anniversary of Miss Marple’s first appearance in print and the 90th of Christie’s Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Over 4 million books, graphic novels, audiobooks, DVDs, games and items of merchandise are sold each year, which means something Christie-related is sold every eight seconds somewhere in the world. In an extraordinary writing career that spanned more than half a century, Agatha Christie wrote eighty novels and short story collections. She also wrote over a dozen plays, including The Mousetrap which is now the longest running play in theatrical history.
The official Christie website is: www.agathachristie.com
Press contact details for Agatha Christie Estate: Jane Acton or Lucy Chavasse
Colman Getty Tel: 020 7631 2666 / Jane@colmangetty.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org
About the BFI
The BFI is the nation's cultural organisation for film, keeping the breadth of voices in moving image culture alive and known. Through its venues, festivals, film releases and online, the BFI inspires people to understand and enjoy film culture, ensuring that everyone in the UK can see the broadest range and choice of films, otherwise not provided by commercial cinema. The BFI reaches an audience of over 7.5 million in the UK every year.
The BFI is a public body part funded by DCMS through the UK Film Council. For every £1 it receives in grant-in-aid, the BFI raises a further £1.50 through self-generated means.
For further information about BFI’s Agatha Christie Weekend taking place between 18 – 21 November at BFI Southbank, please contact Tim Mosley in the press office.
Tim Mosley / email@example.com / 020 7957 8918