An Original Agatha Christie Murder Mystery That Caused a Stir at The Drury Lane Theatre.
The Queen of Crime and Mystery, Agatha Christie, is known as the best-selling author of all time. She is known for her crime psychological thriller and horror novels; which was only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare. Christie work comprised of 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that revolved around fictional detectives.
Some of her notable works included The Murder at the Vicarage, Death on the Nile, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Murder on the Orient Express, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Partners In Crime, The A.B.C. Murders, The Mousetrap which was the world's longest-running play, a murder mystery.
But there is one novel that was published in November of 1939 by Agatha Christie, in which she describes as the most challenging book she has ever written. The book was called "And Then There Were None," however, the original title of the mystery was named "Ten Little Niggers" after the minstrel song, which served as a significant plot point. The title changed in the United States because it was offensive and the mystery novel later changed to "Indian Island" and "Soldier Island."
Director Jessica Fisch takes on the murder mystery novel by deconstructing and reconstructing Christie's masterful work. Fisch who is aware of the problematic history brought to the Drury Lane Theatre a production filled with playfulness, joy, and consideration of integrity, compassion, and humility.
Eight people are invited by the mysterious Mr. Owen and his wife Nancy to come to their home off of the coast of Devon on a warm summer evening in August. The guests are met by Thomas and Ethel Rogers, the butler and cook-housekeeper, who state that their hosts, whom they have not yet met in person, have not arrived. However, they have left instructions, which strikes all the guests as odd.
An invitation tailored to each personal guest particular circumstances, such as an offer of employment or a fantastic late summer holiday seems like a perfect opportunity to enjoy a vacation. However, the guests quickly become suspicious of one another, after hearing a voice over an intercom divulging each of their well-kept murderous secrets. They immediately turn their attention to a framed nursery rhyme on the wall called "Ten Little Soldiers," where ten people die according to the verse in the poem.
The guest includes a young secretary who was the first to arrive Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, (Cher Álvarez), a resourceful, calm and efficient young lady. Yousof Sultani (Phillip Lombard), a soldier of fortune and adventurer of life who carries a revolver. Then there's William Blore (Paul-Jordan Jansen) the undercover detective and retired Judge Sir Wargrave (Matt Decaro) who is known as the "Hanging Judge" along with five other unsuspecting souls.
The production features a lavish mansion with an ocean view that delivers on the suspense with different contraptions thanks to Andrew Boyce, the scenic designer. The hotel set up traps for the guest, and each time a statue of one of the soldier broke, a guest would die.
The stage was set with captivating waterfalls, rainstorms, and special effect of splattered blood to intrigued the audience set the tone for a night of mystery. Props by Cassy Schillo, accompanied by sound designer, Ray Nardelli's sound effects helped deliver a momentary scare within the audience.
Overall, Jessica Fisch ability to hold suspicion over each guest and make the audience wonder who the murderer was, was enjoyable as well as entertaining. The plot runs a little slow for the first 45 minutes to the intermission; however, it picks up during the next two acts. You will have to use your imagination with regards to how some of the people die during the play. You may find yourself wanting to shout, "Why are you leaving the room;" but that adds to the mystery and the fun of, "And Then There Were None."
Drury Lane's "dinner theatre" is the perfect atmosphere to make the night of entertainment a classic one. The dinner leads to a "Who-Done-It" murder mystery that encourages the audience to participate in solving the murders alongside the characters as a detective.
Let's Play 'Recommend' that you check out this covert of suspense at Drury Lane Theatre where they welcome you to try and figure out who is the murderer.
Drury Lane Theatre Presents
Agatha Christie's mystery thriller
And Then There Were None
Directed by Jessica Fisch
July 12 – September 1, 2019
Filed under: ChicagoNow