REVIEW: And Then There Were None, Milton Keynes Theatre

And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None

As Agatha Christie’s classic play And Then There Were None came to Milton Keynes Theatre on Monday, reporters Bev Creagh and Stewart Carr went along to give their verdict.

CREAGH says...

This riveting revival of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is first class entertainment from beginning to end.

It starts off at a cracking pace as various strangers gather at an isolated island mansion after receiving a mysterious invitation.

Stellar performances from the cast – including an elderly and distinguished Paul Nicholas as Sir Lawrence Wargrave, a wizened Fraser Hines as Rogers and a blustery William Bloe as Colin Buchanan – keep up the momentum as the complicated plot develops.

A dumpy-looking Susan Penhaligon is simply superb as Emily Brent, counting rows under her breath as she knits and lectures glamorous young Vera Claythorne (Verity Rushworth) on the immorality of youth.

Mark Curry is a totally believable Doctor Armstrong while Eric Carte and Ben Nealon as General Mackenzie and Philip Lombard respectively give delightfully rounded character portrayals.

Judith Rae and Paul Hassall may make untimely early exits but they too are totally convincing as nagging housekeeper Ethel Rogers and speed freak Anthony Marston.

CARR says...

All the smouldering glamour of the 1930s was in the air as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None came to Milton Keynes Theatre on Monday.

Set on a remote island off the southern coast of England, the action follows ten strangers invited for a weekend away by the mysterious Mr and Mrs Owens.

Once there, all ten find themselves confronted by a crackling voice accusing each of being responsible for a wrongful death.

As suspicion sets in, the group break ranks and the truth gradually comes out as an unknown killer targets them one by one.

Bringing another era to life is never easy, but the art-deco period set and old-Hollywood costumes, combined with carefully observed acting brings Agatha Christie’s sinister whodunnit to life.

Among strong performances all round, I have to admit my personal favourite was Paul Nicholas’s austere judge Sir Lawrence Wargrave, followed closely by Susan Penhaligon’s miserly spinster Miss Brent - straight out of the Victorian age.

< And then There Were None is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday July 25. See here for tickets.