Cayman Drama Society’s next production, the Agatha Christie Radio Plays, isn’t quite a one-man act, but it isn’t too far from it.
‘The performers, who will be taking multiple parts in each play using different voices and accents, will all be in dinner dress and standing in front of old-fashioned microphones and they will contribute to the sound effects,’ explained Kate Bowring, who is directing the production with her husband Chris Bowring.
‘What will make the show particularly interesting is that the Foley artist, who does the majority of the sound effects, will be onstage, as will the stage manager. This way the audience will have a unique and authentic opportunity to experience the plays as Agatha Christie meant them to be staged.’
Consisting of three 30-minute plays titled Personal Call, Yellow Iris and Butter in a Lordly Dish, the production will be staged as if the audience were a real audience attending a live radio play recording in the 1940s.
‘The three plays that we are putting on…are the only Agatha Christie radio plays currently licensed for performance by the licensor, Agatha Christie Limited,’ said Mrs. Bowring.
The plays were written in the 1940s, when they are being set, and this format allows for the production to stay true to the original style of recording radio plays.
‘All original recordings were made to a live audience,’ Mrs. Bowring added.
Mrs. Bowring and her husband are long-time members of Cayman Drama Society, as they joined in 1980.
‘Our first venture onstage was as village children in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk directed by Penny Phillips,’ remembers Mrs. Bowring.
Chris will be playing the piano in one of the plays, Yellow Iris, which takes place in a restaurant with a cabaret act. He has previously acted as the musical director for several Cayman Drama Society productions over the years, including Forever Plaid and Side by Side by Sondheim.
‘I have performed in many productions as both an actor and a singer but this is the first time I have tried my hand at directing,’ said Mrs. Bowring. ‘Luckily I have the benefit of the assistance and expertise of Penny Phillips and an excellent and experienced cast.’
The cast indeed represents a combination of experienced and fresh local talent and is comprised of Chairman of the Cayman Drama Society Alan Hall, Martin Tedd, Ian Morgan, Wendy Moore, Valerie Cottier, Sarah Genereux, Rick Glass and Gary Cordes.
‘We are also fortunate to have Peter Phillips as stage manager, who has built us a special sound stage and provided some excellent ideas for the staging,’ added Mrs. Bowring.
On Saturday evenings, theatregoers can even forgo dinner beforehand, as the Cayman Drama Society is re-introducing their popular dinner theatre nights.
‘On the Saturday nights, we are particularly pleased to be bringing back the dinner theatre, when dinner will be served in the auditorium during the interval,’ said Mrs. Bowring.
Anyone who enjoys a good ‘whodunit’ or is a fan of Agatha Christie’s works is encouraged to go along to the plays, said Mrs. Bowring. ‘We are sure that these plays will appeal to everyone,’ she said.
‘Each plays is full of the twists, turns and unexpected endings that are typical of [Agatha Christie].’
Tickets to the show are CI$20 for adults and $10 for children. On dinner theatre nights, tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for children. Tickets are available via the box office at 949-5054.