10/14/2011 show of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None put on at the Midland Community Theater.
Ten dinner guests show up on an island to find their host is not their to greet them. A record plays and accuses each of the dinner guests of murder. Come to find none of the guests has actually met their host and while all recognize the names of their supposed victims, all deny any wrongdoings. Ten soldier figurines sit on a vanity in the common room; after the first guest chokes to death, they discover one of them has broken and notice the poem that sits above the remaining soliders.
Ten little Soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Soldier boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Soldier boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Soldier boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
One by one they drop like flies. Each of the guest’s death corresponded to a line in the poem. Some of them were very creative in getting the death to match the line and though I have never seen the Broadway production, I’m told this one had a different ending.
I loved it. The Queen’s English and Cockney started out strong, but came and went through the rest of the play, but I did not mind the unaccented speech personally. I did not try to figure out who the killer was and if I had, I would have been wrong. My mom, who reads Agatha Christie mystery novels was wrong so I had no shot. It was a single set production with three acts, so it’s longer than most modern plays and really relied on the actors to carry it. In this case, they did so beautifully. There was not a moment I was bored, nor once I caught either the killer or the soldier figurines leaving their post as the guests were picked off by the killer. If this is playing anywhere near you, I recommend you see it.