Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley and Penelope Cruz are among the multitude of well-known stars featuring in the fourth adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit Murder on the Orient Express this Autumn. The world premiere of the eagerly anticipated film took place this week at London’s Royal Albert Hall, as a glitzy red-carpeted opening welcomed the blockbuster movie’s cast and assorted celebrities, including the stylish Kelly Brook and Camilla Kerslake, to the capital.

Conjuring act for Branagh

Director Kenneth Branagh (Wallander, Dunkirk) had the enviable (if at times, no doubt tricky) task of utilising the wealth of acting talent at his disposal.

The stalwart of British stage and screen for more than three decades – sporting a rather curiously groomed moustache during the film in his portrayal of the typically distinctive Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot – has sought to bring fresh life to a well-known tale.

Classic whodunnit

The fascinating tale of murder, intrigue and deception develops within the claustrophobic confines of the famous Orient Express as it travels across Europe. After the American tycoon, Samuel Ratchett (Depp) is found murdered in his compartment, the fellow passengers fall under the suspicion of the inquisitive Poirot as he attempts to unravel the true version of events that led to Ratchett’s demise. As the clues and red herrings are pored over by Poirot, the tension mounts until the famed detective can finally reveal who he believes to be behind the despicable act.

Stars joined Graham Norton on his show

Five of the film’s A-listers joined chat show host Graham Norton on the couch last Friday evening, as the obligatory round of public appearances began in earnest to promote the new project. A slightly subdued Depp allowed Branagh, and especially the effervescent Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf in Frozen), to take centre stage, as they discussed their experiences on set aboard the ill-fated Orient Express train.

Dame Judi exposed

Branagh sat alongside the delightful Dame Judi as he remembered a particularly tantalising former meeting between the two film veterans. The excitable Northern Irish-born thespian had apparently joined her in a dressing room on set when the call came to go on stage. At the time, Dench continued to happily chat away to her co-star but then Branagh recounted how “with 30 seconds to go she throws off her dressing gown and there is nothing on below the waist!”

Continuing his vivid recollection of the event, he added that he had only caught the briefest of looks but could confirm that “there is nothing like a dame!” Dench’s dresser at the time had thankfully re-acted more practically though, hurriedly fetching the female star’s skirt which she then went on stage clutching closely to protect her modesty.