Agatha Christie is renowned for putting together thrilling murder mystery novels. Transferring these novels to the stage could lack the same effect however director Joe Harmston achieves it.
The art deco style set designed by Simon Scullion is highly impressive, it’s style sets the era for the whole piece and intricate detailing has taken place to ensure the authenticity of it. This is important as the set does not change throughout the show.
The play is set on a remote island where ten highly flawed strangers are invited by a mutual friend for a holiday. Coming from all types of class there are ten very different characters ranging from a judge and a doctor to a butler and secretary.
With the use of a metaphor revolving around ten soldiers and a poem on the wall titled “and then there were none,” without giving too much of the plot away, each character mysteriously begin to die one by one.
The transitions between the scenes are very much in the style of a tv show, as the set never changes the curtain comes down whilst music is played to indicate scene breaks. I found this effective as it allows the audience to have a short moment to have a chat with each other about who they think the murderer is, as if they were watching a tv show.
The cast are excellent, providing a well balanced amount of tension and humour throughout the show. Led by Sir Lawrence Wargrave, a highly sophisticated judge played by Neil Stacy who almost narrates the performance as he pieces together the clues as the show progresses.
Deborah Grant is sublime as narrow minded Emily Brent, and William Blore captures the role of the dodgy policeman Colin Buchanan excellently.
Kezia Burrows is superb as the seductive secretary Vera Claythorne, her glamorous persona slowly descends throughout the play to reveal a nervous and paranoid young woman, she achieves this character development flawlessly.
Alongside her Ben Nealon plays the sleezy Philip Lombard who is a vital character that really keeps the pace of the production alive. Erin Carte portays the cynical General Mackenzie admirably and he really sets the humorous tone of the play.
The butler Rogers (Mark Curry) and his wife (Judith Rae) only have short appearances as they are quickly killed off, however they are essential in the play to distinguish the divide between the classes.The frantic Doctor Armstrong, played by Mark Wynter provides a splendid portrayal of the nervous doctor with a dark medical history.
And Then There Were None is a captivatingly dark tale that will keep the audience on their toes until the very end, a thrilling and intense story that will grip every member of the audience until the murderer is revealed.
And Then There Were None is at The Opera House in Manchester until Saturday the 21st of November and tickets are available here.