Murder Mystery Satisfies

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Justice is haunting the guest of And Then There Were None, an adapted play by Agatha Christie. Based on the novel by the same name, the play explores justice and the purpose of the law within a murder mystery.

The play opens to the cheerful sound of birds chirping as Rogers (Duncan Ollerenshaw) and Mrs. Rogers (Elinor Holt) scurry around to tidy the room in preparation for its guests. The room is filled with expensive furniture, a fire place glowing in the corner and red pillows adorning the couch. We learn that the guests are travelling to the island, which is off the coast of Devon and they are to arrive shortly.

In walks Vera Claythorne (Lesley Galbecka) who is the secretary of the hostess: Mrs. U.N Owen.
Mrs. Owen has missed the train from London and won’t be coming in that evening. Ms. Claythorne is impressed with the venue and so is Philip Lombard (Curt McKinstry), who is attracted to Ms. Claythorne and isn’t afraid to show it. Guests trickle in and Ms. Calythorne attends to them. A recording interrupts their interactions, accusing each of them of committing murder and escaping justice. It then comes out that no one at the party has met the hosts. They all received personalized invitations to the weekend party on the island, but none of the guests know the Owens personally. And there is also a copy of an old nursery rhyme in the middle of the room with little figurines of soldiers beside it. The guests don’t seem to be that concerned until one of them dies, from the arsenic that found its way into his drink.

As the play unfolds, the audience is simultaneously intrigued by the characters and their stories, why they feel they are justified or not in their own actions, as well as to who is committing all the murders. When the mystery is resolved, as we peer into the motive of the murderer, there is a chill in the air.

Deitra Kalyn’s costume designs depict the era accurately, from Ms. Clayborne’s hat to William Blore’s suit. The sound of the birds chirping becomes quite haunting as the characters drop like flies. Backed by strong performances, the actors share the stage cohesively.

And Then There Were None is an Agatha Christie classic, and the play stays true to its original story penned in the 1930s. For those looking for a strong murder mystery, And Then There Were None satisfies quite nicely.

And Then There Were None plays at Vertigo Mystery Theatre until April 3rd. Tickets are available at the door or at www.vertigotheatre.com

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