And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None
By Agatha Christie. New Farm Nash Theatre, Brisbane. Directed by Sharon White. Nov 11 to Dec 3.

Based on one of her novels, this play written by Agatha Christie was first performed in 1943. It has previously been known by the names Ten Little Niggers and then Ten Little Indians before reaching this far more suitable title.  It follows the book for the most part, except for the ending, in telling how eight guests are invited to join the married couple who look after this opulent house on a remote island off the coast of Devon. Of the guests, only two are well known to each other but we learn there is something they all have in common.  Slowly, one at a time, they are being killed.  The question is by whom.  This mystery keeps the audience involved until the solution is given. I was wrong again.

Sharon White has become an expert in the directing of Christie plays and has maintained her high standard. Typically, she has cast well for the most part, used a very functional set and maintained the pace and interplay really well. Among the actors, Amy Bent as Vera Claythorne and Matthew Hobbs as Philip Lombard – the two guests who knew each other – were very good in these crucial roles, particularly Amy.  Milton Scully was an eye catching over the top General Mackenzie, while Bruce Edgerton was suitably dominant Justice Wargraves. A couple of the smaller roles needed a bit more oomph. My one criticism Is that sometimes the whole cast was too static, and often in a line, but that is a minor point.

It has reached the stage where the challenge of the murder mystery plays such as those by Agatha Christie is being met at a very high standard by Nash Theatre.  I strongly recommend a visit to And Then There Were None for a great night at the theatre and a test of your ability to find a killer.

William Davies

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