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.