And Then There Were None - UK Tour 2024

 There is something quite marvellous about watching a murder mystery play out on stage. And it's made even more thrilling when it's an adaptation of one of the most loved and celebrated crime thriller books of all time. But having a show based on a book with such a popular following can mean that there is an alarmingly high bar to live up to, and with a modern audience, will this 1939 tale be able to captivate audiences. 

Coming towards the end of their UK tour, the cast of the Agatha Christie play have landed in Southampton at the Mayflower Theatre and are ready to have audience members on the edge of their seat. With warnings of violence, murder, suicide, and gun shots, you are left wondering what on earth will happen before you even take your seat. Because in this classic whodunnit, nothing is quite as it seems. 

The tale is set on Soldier Island. A small island a mile off the coast of Devon. 8 guests who seemingly know nothing about each other have been gathered to the island for various reasons. Accompanied by two staff, the guests soon realise that their hosts are nowhere to be seen and nothing is quite as it seems. After a recording is played announcing crimes they are guilty of they find themselves questioning each other as guests soon start dying one by one. 

I'm going to be honest and say that a large portion of the first act included setting the scene and introducing the characters, and honestly I was concerned that this might be slightly drawn out and dare I say it, boring. However, once the scene was set the pace picked up and the show really felt like one of two halves. You were laughing, gasping, jumping, and on the edge of your seat until the end of the show. 

Each guest was classed as an upstanding member of society. From a judge, to a doctor, and a detective. With each of them having so much to lose, you a constantly questioning your own judgement and second guessing what you are seeing on stage. And I'm going to be honest, for someone that would normally be able to crack a crime, this one truly left me stumped until the shocking end scene. As each characters story unfolds and you find out their crime, you are greeted with swooping monologues, or heated arguments. I loved the moments that flashbacks occurred during these scenes as the clever use of set allowed you to immerse yourself. The use of sloping sets and a sheer curtain gave the feel of elegance and mystery all at the same time. 

Whilst all the performers were excellent in their roles, there must be some serious nods in the direction of Nicola May-Taylor as Vera Claythorne and Joseph Beattie as Philip Lombard. Both played their roles in a frantic, emotional way that was captivating to watch. Their interactions together towards the end of the play were really impactful and engaging and truly whisked me away in the story. 

And Then There Were None is a story that starts off as a fizzle and ends with a bang, it's a show that lures you in with it's niceties and then leaves your jaw on the floor as the curtain falls. Whilst there may be some lows to go with the highs of it, it truly showcases what a master in storytelling Agatha Christie was, and it's a true testament to the work of Lucy Bailey that this adaptation has engaged audiences up and down the country. 

Whilst this run may be coming to an end, many of Christie's other works are either still showing, or are upcoming. To find out more see below:

The Mousetrap on tour

Witness for the Prosecution - London

Murder on the Orient Express

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