Tag Archives: Deborah Grant

REVIEW: And Then There Were None – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

A cast of TV favourites celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Agatha Christie and the 10th anniversary of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company with a production of the Queen of Crime’s much-loved masterpiece, And Then There Were None at the Theatre Royal this week.

Ten strangers are lured to a remote island off the coast of Devon. On arrival their mysterious host is missing. Stranded by a raging storm and taunted by references to a sinister nursery rhyme the guests begin to disappear one by one…

Good old-fashioned storytelling always wins out and so it proves here. Based on the best-selling mystery novel of all time, And Then There Were None has overtaken The Mousetrap in popularity to become of the nation’s favourite plays and Bill Kenwright’s production doesn’t disappoint. The stellar cast, gorgeous Art Deco set and masterful plotting combine to produce a gripping and atmospheric work that will keep you pinned to the edge of your seat until the very end.

Director Joe Harmston, has fine form with the works of Christie, having directed all of the previous adaptations from the company, and his deft touch shows here. Limited to a fixed set, he manages to keep the interest levels high throughout, the only gripe is the somewhat static first act (which necessarily sets the scene), however, the labyrinthine plot is more than enough to keep us transfixed.

There are solid performances throughout from the raft of familiar TV faces, giving life to this seemingly disparate group of house-party guests. Veterans Paul Nicholas as Judge Wargrave and Eric Carte as retired General Mackenzie, particularly impress as do the ever-reliable Ben Nealon as the charming but dangerous cad, Philip Lombard and Mark Curry as butler Rogers. The only weak link is Kezia Burrows as secretary Vera Claythorne, in trying to capture the essence of a flighty young thing from the thirties, she careers way too far into caricature.

This is a class act from start to finish and proves that you really can’t beat a good old-fashioned murder mystery.

And Then There Were None runs at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow until Saturday 24th October 2015 – miss it at your peril.

Tickets: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/and-then-there-were-none/

REVIEW: Black Coffee – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

It is a brave man indeed who takes on a role as synonymous with another actor as that of Hercule Poirot, but that is exactly what Jason Durr gamely does in Agatha Christie’s first play Black Coffee at the Theatre Royal this week, Christie’s only play to feature the much-loved, mustachio’d Belgian brain box.

 

Moments after a dinner party, the less than popular but spectacularly rich inventor Sir Claude Amory is dead and his plans for a new weapon of mass destruction gone.

On an elegantly Art Deco set by Simon Scullion, the plot is very much reflective of a first play but shows hints of the greatness to come and for Christie fans there are many flashes of storyline that appear fully formed in later works by the author.

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The plot is always key for Christie often to the detriment of the characters who can read as caricature rather than fully rounded individuals: there are several, dodgy accented, ‘Johnny Foreigner‘ types that Christie exploits to poke fun at the xenophobic times in which the play was written and upon whom suspicion of course falls for being “not like us”, but all is forgiven in the entertaining¬†plot which is a blend of light and dark and red herrings, heavy hints, intrigue and suspicion abound throughout.

Durr is a more youthful Poirot, though all of Poirot’s idiosyncrasies are intact: the walk, the fastidiousness and of course the famous moustache, the only gripe would be that a little of the dialogue was lost at times in the accent, though in fairness the cast were not miked and the space is a large one to fill. As he carefully unravels the spider’s web of a plot he is ably supported by Robin McCallum as the “deliciously old-fashioned” and “positively pre-war” Hastings and TV regular Deborah Grant delivers an entertaining turn as the dotty Caroline, sister of the murdered Amory.

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This is an entertaining piece of fluff, perfect for an autumn evening, played out upon a delightful set with a cast of talented actors – Christie fans will not be disappointed.

Runs until Saturday 8th Nov at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Tickets: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/agatha-christies-black-coffee/theatre-royal-glasgow/