CDS to serve up classic whodunit

One of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery classics is to be staged by the Cayman Drama Society.

Planned to open Thursday 14 September, And Then There Were None features an 10-strong cast who have been busy rehearsing for the past month.

Director Ian Morgan said that it has been a long time since the CDS staged an Agatha Christie play and that it was high-time a meaty murder mystery was served up to theatregoers.

‘Murder mysteries have been staged in the past, but they tended to be more comedic. I wanted to do something more in-depth – something that would really challenge the audience,’ he said.

Although rehearsals are still in their preliminary stages, Mr. Morgan said they are going well.

‘This is a complex play. There are 10 murders overall. It has to be choreographed extremely carefully to ensure every cast member is in the exact spot at the exact moment and goes past the correct props, otherwise the audience will struggle to solve the murders, or may spot the murderer too early on in the play.’

The director said that he hopes people will come to watch the play more than once.

‘I think people will want to see the play more than once, to work out each murder for themselves. That is where the complexity of the choreography comes in. Although the audience find out who did the murders, they don’t get told how. That’s the real challenge for the audience.’

He added: ‘There’s a great twist in the play which I believe will keep people guessing until the very end.’

Commenting on the choice of play, Mr. Morgan said that he has always been keen to put on a murder mystery.

‘I particularly wanted to put on a play by Agatha Christie; however I didn’t want to put one of her more famous plays as it would be extremely difficult to emulate one of her more famous characters such as Miss Marple or Poirot.

‘And Then There Were None has a really nice open cast. I have just always wanted to do this play – It’s simply a really good whodunit, from the queen of murder mystery.’

The play’s cast includes three new members to the CDS. For some, the director said, it is their first time on stage.

Mr. Morgan has been a member of the CDS for the past six years. He has directed a number of plays, most recently the 2004 production of Absolutely Fabulous.

The director said that the script has been amended slightly, although he said he has tried to keep changes to a minimum and believes that they won’t impact the overall play.

He said that references to England have been removed as the cast is multi-national. The play is originally set in 1930 – something which has also changed.

‘We have cast members from Malaysia, America, Canada – you simply would have not had these nationalities in England in the 1930s. I have tried to make the location and time non-descript,’ he said.

A further change is that one of the male characters has been switched to a female – necessary the director said as not sufficient men auditioned for the play back in July.

And Then There Were None was first published in 1939 and later re-worked into a play.

One of the author’s best known murder mysteries, 10 people are invited to a lonely mansion on a remote island. None of the guests have met each other or their hosts and an entertaining plot of whodunits quickly unfolds as one by one the guests start to die.

And Then There None will be staged on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 14 to 30 September at the Prospect Playhouse, Red Bay. Tickets cost $15. Admission for children 12 and under is $10. Tickets for CDS members cost $12 on opening night. Call the box-office on 949-5054 or visit www.caymandrama.org for further information.

CAST

David Godfrey – Mr. Rogers

Sheree Ebanks – Mrs Rogers and General MacKenzie

Brad Renford – Fred Narracott

Janine Nyyssonen – Vera Claythorne

Yuri Pershin – Philip Lombard

Murali Ram – Anthony Marston

Karl Nyyssonon – William Blore

Kate Bowring – Emily Brent

Rick Glass – Sir Lawrence Wargrave

Cyndy Ebanks – Dr. Armstrong

Director – Ian Morgan

Assistant director Caroline Neale

Producer – Penny Paterson