So off I go to Milton Keynes theatre to solve a mystery. A mystery of great deception and engagement as a novice detective and theatre goer. I went to see a play based on the Agatha Christie book called "And Then There Were None" I must say it was a truly outstanding experience. From start to finish, the production captivated me with its gripping storyline, impeccable acting, and stunning set design.
"And Then There Were None" is a classic mystery novel that takes place on a secluded island. The story revolves around ten strangers who are lured to the island under various pretexts, only to find themselves trapped and cut off from the outside world. As the guests settle in, they discover a chilling message that accuses each of them of committing a heinous crime in the past.
The ten characters in the story are:
1. Justice Lawrence Wargrave (David Yelland) - A retired judge known for his harsh judgments and unwavering commitment to justice.
2. Vera Claythorne (Sophie Walter) - A former governess who has a secret related to the death of a young boy.
3. Philip Lombard (Joseph Beattie) - A reckless and unscrupulous mercenary with a shady past.
4. Dr. Edward Armstrong (Bob Barrett) - A skilled and respected doctor who has a tragic incident from his past haunting him.
5. William Blore (Andrew Lancel) - A former police inspector who has been involved in a case of corruption.
6. Emily Brent (Katy Stephens) - A stern and religious woman who believes in strict moral codes.
7. General John Macarthur (Jeferry Kissoon) - A retired military officer burdened by guilt over the death of a fellow soldier.
8. Anthony Marston (Oliver Clayton)- A young, reckless playboy known for his dangerous driving.
9. Georgina Rogers (Lucy Tregear) - The house keeper of the house, who has been involved in a suspicious death.
10. Jane Pinchbeck (Nicola May Taylor) - The housekeeper and lover of Georgina Rogers.
As the guests start to realize the gravity of the situation, they become increasingly paranoid and suspicious of one another. Soon, they begin to die one by one, following the eerie nursery rhyme "Ten Little Soldiers."
With each death, the remaining guests become more desperate to uncover the truth and find the identity of the killer among them. As tensions rise and secrets are revealed, the characters must confront their past sins and face the consequences of their actions.
"And Then There Were None" is a thrilling and suspenseful tale of guilt, deception, and the dark side of human nature. Agatha Christie's masterful storytelling keeps the audience guessing until the very end, as we tried to unravel the mystery and discover who was behind the murders on the isolated island.
The cast delivered exceptional performances, bringing each character to life with depth and authenticity. Their chemistry on stage was palpable, and I found myself completely engrossed in their portrayals. The suspense and tension were expertly maintained throughout the performance, keeping me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Even the end was pretty captivating and visual.
The set design was equally impressive, perfectly capturing the eerie atmosphere of the story. Good use of lighting and a moving gauze. The attention to detail was remarkable, and every element of the set added to the overall mood and ambiance. Even down to the disappearance of each soldier that stood in full view of the audience. Combined with the lighting and sound effects, the production created a truly immersive experience.
The direction of the play was masterfully done by Lucy Bailey, Lighting by Chris Davey. The direction seamlessly guiding the us the audience through the intricate plot twists and turns. The pacing was spot on, allowing for moments of reflection and anticipation. It was evident that a lot of thought and care went into every aspect of the production. Nice pieces of modernisation, help to engage all age groups.
Overall, my experience at "And Then There Were None" at Milton Keynes Theatre was nothing short of exceptional. It is a must-see for any theatre, enthusiast or fan of mystery and suspense. It was a slow burn and as Milton Keynes is a big stage it was staged well. I am sure it will be even intense in smaller theatres on it’s national UK tour.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling and unforgettable night at the theatre.
4 stars out of 5
Reviewer: Mark Bilsby