“Halloooooooo” – Katharina Thalbach answers the phone with her familiar smoky voice. After months of waiting, she directed “Murder on the Orient Express”. A call.

Berlin (dpa) – Actress Katharina Thalbach loves one writer in particular – the British writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976).

“Agatha Christie is a queen to me,” Thalbach said of the German news agency. “I mean, England had Shakespeare – and then came Agatha Christie. He has almost the same status to me.”

Christie combined crime with culture and humor. “And that’s what I appreciate so much about her,” Thalbach said. The 67-year-old chose one of her novels – for the Berlin Kudammbühnen, she presents “Murder on the Orient Express” at the theater.

The team had to wait months because of the pandemic. The premiere is now scheduled for Saturday, July 24. Thalbach has a double role: she directs and is also herself on stage. Before a premiere, she is always terribly nervous. “Unfortunately, that never changes with age,” she said over the phone.

Thalbach plays detective Hercule Poirot. He was not only his height and was “the best sleuth in the world”, but also a very bizarre character. “And of course, that makes me very happy.” Why are these numbers lying to you like that? “I don’t know that. In a way, I probably have a big soft spot for the strange beings in this world.”

Thalbach’s daughter and granddaughter also play in the play. The costumes come from designer Guido Maria Kretschmer (“Shopping Queen”). With her dual role, she’s on all fronts this time around, Thalbach said. Will she still be able to sleep? “I force myself to sleep.” At the end of the phone call, she said goodbye, “Keep your fingers crossed for us!