Latest Review – And Then There Were None [Opera House, Manchester] [UK Tour]

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Opera House, Manchester

Until Saturday 21 November, 2015

After ten strong years together, the Agatha Christie Theatre Company celebrates a decade of successful nationwide tours with a revival of Christie’s own adaptation of her most revered work and the best-selling mystery novel of all time, And Then There Were None.

A group of 10 strangers are lured to a remote island off the coast of Devon. Upon arrival it is discovered that their host, an eccentric millionaire, is missing… Stranded on the island by a torrential storm and haunted by an ancient nursery rhyme, one by one the guests begin to die… With only the fallen believed to be innocent who amongst them is the killer?

It’s a very traditional production of the piece, incorporating authentic designs that perfectly reflect and establish the 1940s setting, however it is staged with an energy and a flair that sweeps it out of the ‘old-fashioned’ contemporary setting, highlights more of the comic elements of the piece and renders it fresh and relevant for a modern audience.

It is difficult to imagine the true impact the piece would have had when it was first presented to audiences back in 1943, however having been parodied and adapted numerous times over the years the play has unfortunately lost some of its power to really shock and appears a little twee, particularly in a world now well accustomed to powerful twist endings, big scares and shock revelations.

That said however, there is no denying the quality of Christie’s writing or the innovative murder mystery she conjures up, innovatively pitting the ten central figures (or should that be victims) against the bleak ‘Ten Little Soldiers’ poem from which the play’s title is derived.

I know it is fairly late in the run to now start changing things, however I do feel the stage – if not the actors – require mic’ing up, particularly at the deep, upstage balcony as a number of the cast were finding difficulty in projecting when situated or facing upstage, ultimately making parts of the dialogue a little hard to distinguish.

The show features a strong ensemble cast featuring established household names and reliable stage actors alike, with standout performances from Neil Stacy, Mark Curry, Ben Nealon and Eric Carte.

Running Time: 2 hours 25 minutes (approx.), including two 15-minute intervals.

Final Performance at the Opera House, Manchester: Saturday 21 November, 2015.

For more information, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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