Review: ‘And Then There Were None’ was an all-consuming night’s entertainment and a must-see.
and live on Freeview channel 276
This production has been updated for the modern era and is directed by the esteemed Lucy Bailey. Bailey is known for directing successful productions such as Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution (which is now in its sixth year), Love from A Stranger, Dial M for Murder, Baby Doll, Titus Andronicus, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The cast of the show includes several familiar faces from Film, TV and theatre including Bob Barrett, Joseph Beattie, Oliver Clayton, Jeffery Kissoon, Andrew Lancel, Nicola May-Taylor, Louise McNulty, Katy Stephens, Lucy Tregear, Sophie Walter, Matt Weyland, and David Yelland.
The plot is simple. Ten strangers are lured to an isolated mansion on an Island off Devon. When they arrive, they find their hosts mysteriously absent and as secrets from their past start to emerge, they suspect their fates. Desperate to leave, it emerges there is no form of communication to the mainland, no boat and with a huge storm looming they realise they are trapped.
The plot as is often the case in plays of the era, the 1920s-30s, occurs in the drawing room, with opulent furniture, giant chandeliers, bear rug and other accoutrements of the Art Deco period. Here we are introduced to each stereotypical character a soldier, dandy, doctor, sergeant major, judge, schoolteacher, policeman, housekeeper, cook, and religious spinster, all portrayed expertly.
In a beautiful tableau slickly designed with subdued lighting and set behind a gauze curtain that provides atmosphere and mystery from the start, we see the characters as they all read the letters that brought them to this point.
The curtain was used to create a layered effect, separating different scenes, and displaying memories and whilst the concept was clever and effective, the execution was sometimes clumsy and disorganised.
In an intricately crafted story, the characters gradually unravel and turn on each other to uncover the culprit. The ten little soldiers rhyme and glass figurines on the dining table play a crucial and ominous role as each guest meets their fate one by one as per the rhyme.
The play started slowly as we were introduced to the characters, but it was necessary to understand the narrative. The pace picked up in the second half, which was positively racing.
It's wonderful to watch such talented actors deliver their lines with such precision and power. Together they brought all the drama and tension to the stage. I was totally consumed and entertained throughout.
The play runs until Saturday 10th February with tickets starting at £13. To book your tickets now visit ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes.
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