Most of the audience probably knew whodunnit when they took their seats for the opening of Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ play at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal.
But that didn’t stop the air of tension in the majestic theatre as we settled to enjoy Agatha Christie’s biggest crime selling novel of all time.
It’s such a clever story, that it impresses every time and with a wealth of acting talent in the latest UK tour of the 1939 written play, it was always going to be a crowd pleaser.
The opening night didn’t go without a hiccup or two though as leading lady Sophie Walter had to pull out with an hour to the play beginning.
In stepped co-star Nicola May-Taylor who swapped her roles as Jane Pinchbeck and Beatrice Taylor for the star slot of Vera Claythorne.
With no time to rehearse, Nicola had the added prop of a script, but she managed the changeover with aplomb, as did understudy Louise McNulty, who took over Nicola’s parts.
Director Lucy Bailey has pretty much stuck to Christie’s script, with the scene set as 10 people with nothing in common are lured to a luxury house on an isolated island off the coast of Devon.
Each person is accused of murder and one by one, they begin to die off. And with no way out, the remaining ones play detective to work out the culprit.
With strong performances from Bob Barrett (Dr Armstrong), Joseph Beattie (Philip Lombard), Jeffery Kissoon (General MacKenzie), Andrew Lancel (William Blore), David Yelland (Judge Wargrave), Oliver Clayton (Anthony Marston/Arthur Richmond), Katy Stephens (Emily Brent) and Georgina Rogers (Lucy Tregear), the play flows nicely.
Set and costume designer Mike Britton has done a great job of helping the play go from light to dark as the murders begin, with sound designer and composer Elizabeth Purnell’s input adding to the impending doom.
Add this to the nod to nostalgia with servants unpacking guest’s luggage and everyone dressing smartly for dinner and the play serves up an intriguing puzzle which is fun to work out.
‘And Then There Were None’ runs at Theatre Royal in Glasgow until Saturday 30th September, before embarking on a UK tour, ending in Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre in April next year.
For more information you can check out: www.andthentherewerenoneplay.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs by Manuel Harlan