Poirot in drag? David Suchet takes to stage for Oscar Wilde play

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Poirot star David Suchet has taken on a new role – as Lady Bracknell, in the Importance of Being Earnest.

The actor, who spent nearly three decades playing Agatha Christie’s famed detective Poirot, debuted as a woman in the Oscar Wilde play this week.

After appearing at the Vaudeville Theatre, Suchet joked about contending with the bright lighting and heavy costume on one of the hottest days of the year.

He said: “I got quite dizzy at certain points. But the play is such a wonderful play to be in, you do forget after a while about being hot.

“The irony is, that when this play opened in London in 1895, it was the coldest day of the year. And we have opened it on the hottest day of the year so far.”

Temperatures in London reached 36 degrees as Suchet took to the stage for the first time.

Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith are among the big names to have previously taken on the role as the acidic Lady Bracknell.

The Importance of Being Earnest is playing at the Vaudeville until November 7.

Earlier this year, the mystery surrounding the death of Oscar Wilde’s wife was finally unravelled by the poet’s grandson.

The Irish writer’s spouse, Constance Lloyd, died mysteriously just a few years after Wilde was jailed for “gross indecency” in 1895, over his numerous sexual encounters with men.

However, the couple’s grandson Merlin Holland believes he has finally cracked the 117-year old mystery.

Mr Holland has searched through the trove of more than 130 unreleased old family letters – and found the symptoms of the mysterious ailment – which eventually left her with excruciating head pain and unable to walk – closely match what is now known to be MS.

A combination of the MS and botched surgeries for other misdiagnosed ailments were responsible for the death – and not syphilis, or a mysterious poison, as has been speculated previously.