Sharon Cain, Time for Life Correspondent
And Then There Were None: A Killer Of A Thriller
The Cast of And Then There Were None. Photo by Manuel Harlan
There’s something sinister and compelling about knowing that everyone in the cast is about to be murdered - especially without the presence of a famous detective to bring the killer to justice.
The age-old plot of And Then There Were None
, based on Agatha Christie’s best-selling crime novel of was portentous and gripping.
A mysterious host brings together ten strangers, each of whom has committed a dastardly deed, at a sumptuous, solitary mansion off the coast of Devon for a seemingly innocuous social gathering.
Sophie Walter and Joseph Beattie as Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard. Photo by Manuel Harlan
After a recording by their host, who fails to turn up, broadcasts their dark secrets, the tension escalates as the evening wears on fuelled by alcohol, suspicion, and self-loathing.
The nature of the murders emulate Agatha Christie’s poem Ten Little Soldier Boys
– the first verse being: 'Ten little soldier boys' went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.
After the electrifying build up, it was almost a relief when the first murder was committed before the interval.
David Yelland as Judge Wargrave. Photo by Manuel Harlan
A raging storm which cuts off the house from the mainland heightens the sense of unease. The realisation that no one will escape alive is reenforced by ten glass ornaments symbolising each guest which deplete in number as the murders rack up.
Sophie Walter, whose credits include The Girl On The Train
, is outstanding as the tortured Vera Claythorne, a secretary hired by the group’s enigmatic hosts, who is racked with guilt and displays extremely convincing bouts of hysteria.
Joseph Beattie (Silent Witness
and Brideshead Revisited)
is terrific as the arrogant ex-military officer Philip Lombard.
David Yelland (Poirot, Foyle’s War
and The Crown
) as Judge Wargrave and Jeffrey Kissoon (Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice
) as the broken General Mackenzie are among the notable performances.
This production, reinvented for the 21st century, fulfils a lifelong ambition for acclaimed director Lucy Bailey who was 16 when she read the novel which has sold over a 100 million copies worldwide since its publication in 1939.
Increasingly distraught by the plot, she decided to become a theatre director four years later. Her string of credits include Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, Love From A Stranger; Dial M for Murder; Titus Andronicus
and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Deliciously dark from start to finish. I’d be committing a deadly faut pas in revealing whodunit and recommend you check out the nearest performance to you, sit back - and enjoy.
And Then There Were None plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Sat 21 Oct 2023. Tickets can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk
or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.
It is also touring the UK and can be seen at the following venues:
October 31- November 4, Richmond Theatre, Richmond
November 7-11, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
November 21-25, Grand Opera House, York