And Then There Were None, Theatre Royal, Bath Review

Who doesn’t love a creepy whodunit full of suspense and intrigue: Agatha Christie was the master of this genre and the play based on her story And Then There Were None will keep you enthralled right up to the end when all is revealed.

Ten guests are invited to an isolated mansion off the coast in Devon, naturally a fearsome storm blows up; they are cut off from the mainland and by default escape and civilisation. Curiously the hosts that invited them are not to be found and it transpires that all ten are not known to each other. Bit by bit the reason for their invitation becomes clear, each of them carries a terrible secret from their past for which they will have to pay.

The set is atmospheric, changed by the repositioning of swirling and ghostly white voile curtains around which the ten assemble, at first cheerful not realising what is about to happen and then growing more and more suspicious and apprehensive. The two servants, Pinchbeck and Rogers, (Nicola May-Taylor and Lucy Tregear) hired in to look after the guests from all walks of life, Judge Wargrave (David Yelland), Doctor Armstrong (Bob Barrett), General Mackenzie (Jeffery Kissoon), William Blore, a retired policeman (Andrew Lancel), Vera Claythorne a former governess hired as a secretary (Sophie Walter), Philip Lombard, an adventurer (Joseph Beattie), Emily Brent, a religious spinster (Katy Stephens) and Anthony Marston, a young man (Oliver Clayton).

The formidable cast navigates the twists and turns of the play shedding characters as they go at an alarming rate; it’s gripping, nerve-wracking and spine-tinglingly entertaining. David Yelland and Sophie Walter give terrific performances as the Judge and Secretary, but the company as a whole are responsible for keeping the suspense and interest alive. Agatha Christie wrote the play on Burgh Island which is the inspiration for the fictitious Soldier Island as it’s named in the play; having stayed there myself I can attest to the fact that it’s remote and rather chilling and when I came down to breakfast in the morning, I did a headcount of our guests to make sure they’d all made it through the night!

This is a great production which deservedly played to a packed audience, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jacquie Vowles

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET

www.theatreroyal.org.uk

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