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REVIEW: And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour, Glasgow

26 September 2023

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

⭐⭐⭐

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour, Glasgow Theatre Royal, September 2023. Photo: Lisa in the theatre

And Then There Were None is not only Agatha Christie’s most read work, but also the best-selling crime novel of all time, selling over a 100 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1939. This brand-new stage production has been reinvented for the 21st century and is directed by Lucy Bailey.


"Ten strangers are lured to a solitary mansion off the coast of Devon. When a terrible storm cuts them off from the mainland, and with their hosts mysteriously absent, the true reason for their presence on the island becomes horribly clear, as secrets from their past come back to haunt each and every one of them."


The set and costumes by Mike Britton, and the lighting by Chris Davey are beautiful. Subtle changes draw the eye across the stage and work well to increase and discharge the tension.


An atmospheric seaside track of crashing waves and calling seagulls plays in the background throughout the production. Never intrusive, it's barely noticeable, but yet it cleverly and constantly reminds us of the remote island setting. A lovely touch.

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour, Glasgow Theatre Royal, September 2023. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The script is sharp; there's no unnecessary padding here. But with that brevity, some of the source novel detail may have been lost. By the end I still did not understand fully the motivation for the elaborate murder scheme and how the murderer could possibly have known all the information that they did. There were one or two backstories I can't fathom how anyone else knew about. I will definitely need to read the book to find out more.


Perhaps I missed some detail in the play; the sound was an issue all night. The spoken dialogue was far too quiet. Some of the actors did a better job than others of projecting up and out, but really, they should have been assisted by the available technology. It's a large theatre! The ridiculous amount of coughing in the auditorium didn't help either, and I know I missed some lines due to unfortunately timed coughs from all levels of the house. I tried really hard to listen carefully, but the sound levels do need to be raised or the actors do need to be individually miked. I was in the circle; I can only imagine it was worse in the upper circle or gallery area.

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour, Glasgow Theatre Royal, September 2023. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Despite the audio issues, the cast and direction in this production are excellent.


It wasn't entirely clear why, but on opening night in Glasgow, Nicola May-Taylor had to step in to cover the role of Vera Claythorne with only one hour notice and no rehearsal. It was explained beforehand that Nicola would be performing with script in hand, but that it was only thanks to her bravery that the show could go ahead at all. This is what makes live theatre so exciting! Nicola did a phenomenal job of not only reading from the book, but of fully acting out her scenes with a number of complex props and interactions too.


Vera is arguably the biggest role in the play; she certainly has the most stage time. So this was not a small part that Nicola covered at press night, at only the second venue on tour. It was fascinating to watch, and with the support of her fellow cast, and with encouragement from the Glasgow audience, Nicola May-Taylor succeeded remarkably. I know she is a trained actor but she was fearless. So impressive!


As for crime drama theatre, I have enjoyed others I've seen recently more: 'The Mousetrap' and 'An Inspector Calls' for example. But 'And Then There Were None' does have everything it needs to be a success if a few issues can be ironed out.


I wont ever forget this night at the theatre, thanks to Nicola May-Taylor's outstanding efforts in saving the show and the very obvious support and appreciation from her cast mates. What a really lovely bunch! Bravo Nicola May-Taylor, you have 1,500 new fans.


⭐⭐⭐

 

Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None plays at The Theatre Royal, Glasgow until Saturday 30th September and then tours across the UK.


🎟️ Glasgow tickets available from £13 https://prf.hn/l/VlzmwlW

🎟️ UK tour tickets https://prf.hn/l/NJDXeXZ


📸 Production photography: Manuel Harlan

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour 2023
 
And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour 2023

🌟 REVIEW: And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) UK Tour, Glasgow🌟


🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.


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Lisa in the theatre. Theatre reviewer. Theatre blog. Glasgow Theatre. Edinburgh Theatre. Scotland theatre.

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