And Then There Were None

Date 28th July 2022
Society Egerton Players
Venue Egerton Millennium Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Louis Robinson
Producer Heather Gould
Written By Agatha Christie

Report

Author: Anne Lawson

Secretary Heather showed us to our table – the hall arranged in cabaret style – accepted kind hospitality to sit back and watch the intriguing tale unfold after the Players’ long, long wait getting back on stage

Wonderful to meet a young talented and enthusiastic Louis Robinson, returning to his roots and taking on not only Chair of the Players but also the role of Director. His love of Christie’s work and encouragement for the cast to create the diverse characters, with the twists and turns of suspicion and to keep the audience in total suspense was most commendable.

Although no acknowledgement was specified, the open stage with black curtaining immediately showed us a classy lounge with two check upholstered armchairs, small coffee table central and dark silhouetted ‘box’ units upstage, with books and a framed rhyme together with statuettes carefully placed by hired help, Mrs Ethel Rogers, on the shelving to be removed as each character mysteriously died – but by whom? Good lights, set and a well-used drinks area, with a bear’s head at the back. Exits either side of stage were used to lead to allocated bedrooms and kitchen, whilst a set of steps from stage to auditorium and through a side door took us outside the house overlooking the sea, with the only way on and off this remote property being by boat and there is no telephone. Plenty of correct era suitcases were carefully managed by the hired Butler Thomas Rogers, and personal props were very good. Vanessa Perrin conveyed the prim, God-fearing Emily Brent, who was responsible for causing a young fallen girl to take her own life - her knitting appeared to grow throughout the evening!

A huge amount of comprehensive script that moved well kept us concentrating and you could hear the silence of the audience! It seems all the different characters have a shady past and are invited to a weekend house party by letter and are unknown to each other. Then an assumed gramophone record is played and ‘The Voice’ tells us some most interesting facts and one by one as according to the rhyme they are disposed of. I didn’t guess ‘who done it’! Sue Johnson played the nervous Ethel Rogers cook who survives a faint but is suspiciously found dead in her bed and is well supported by husband Thomas portrayed by Sarah Woods a slightly different role when last seen as a Munchkin! Kirsa Olsen played the very efficient secretarial role. Adventurer armed with a pistol, Captain Philip Lombard, late of South Africa – did he really let his men down, was certainly well characterised by Carin Kennett. Ben Humphries made his debut with the Players as a ‘wizard’ Anthony Marston, bit of a lad, loved fast cars – prone to prangs. Really good to see new young members involved. Returning from his experiences of the back end of a Goat, Gary Robinson tricked us into thinking he was flash and wealthy when he was actually a detective who had committed perjury! Mac Mercer perfected his part – an elderly gent looking for his deceased ‘Lesley’ very well indeed. Clad in his tweeds and dark rimmed specs Glen Kennett became the rather nervous character, a Nerve Doctor, once surgeon, now recovered alcoholic – was he responsible for a patient’s death? Fiona Fraser-Pritchard mastered the calculating, articulate Judge Lawrence Wargrave beautifully and completely fooled me. Well done indeed, excellent personalities formed not forgetting the roles of Fred Narracott and ‘The Voice’ played by Elaine Narborough/Jacob Reddings and Helen Gibbons.

The technical team produced interesting subtle lighting, well timed sound effects and this opening night performance had a smooth run with Alan Arthur as SM.