Agatha Christie Theatre Company mark their 10th anniversary

The cast of And Then There Were None
The cast of And Then There Were None

After the success of Black Coffee and The Mousetrap the Agatha Christie Theatre Company mark their 10th anniversary by presenting her most popular novel, ‘And Then There Were None’ (renamed for political correctness) starring a galaxy of stars.

The story is simple, if contrived. Ten people are lured to a deserted island, by a host they never see. Once all are assembled, a gramophone record is played accusing each of committing murder – and promising retribution...

As a fierce storm rages, one by one they meet a gruesome end, predicted by a poem, ‘Ten Little Soldiers’, above the mantelpiece. And one of the ten present must be the killer.

All the stock upper crust characters from Christie-land are there; the spinster, the rake, the doctor, the army captain, etc. The language is of the ‘I say, wizard show, old man’ ilk.

An Art Deco set, with an impressive large circular window, sets the scene perfectly. Verity Rushworth in a startling backless dress, provides the fashion statement. Sound effects of the storm add to the atmosphere as the tension builds until the final, shocking scene.

Could it be the judge (Paul Nicholas), who deliberately sent an innocent man to the gallows? Or bible thumping spinster (Susan Penhaligon) who allowed a child to drown? Surely not the butler (Frazer Hines)? More likely the doctor (Mark Curry).

During two intervals, speculation was rife among the audience in the bar. Someone missed a trick here. Ladbrokes could have cleaned up.

Directed by Joe Harmston, an expert of the genre, and produced by Bill Kenwright, this is a stylish production that brings the Golden Age of Mystery to the stage with panache.

Ron Ellis