Theatre Review: And Then There Were None at Theatre Royal

Words: Jared Wilson
Wednesday 24 January 2024
reading time: min, words

A new theatre adaptation of a classic Agatha Christie whodunnit. The original novel is the world's best-selling mystery and with over 100 million copies sold, one of the best-selling books of all time...


And The There Were None is an Agatha Christie story about a group of strangers, all invited (for work and pleasure) to an exclusive event on an island off the coast of Devon. One they arrive they are informed that their hosts, Mr and Mrs UN Owen have been unexpectedly delayed.

However, each person is then accused, by an anonymous source, of having committed a serious crime for which they have gone unpunished. They soon realise that mischief is afoot and that they are all stranded on the island and, one by one, are being killed off by an unknown murderer.

The book is the world's best-selling mystery, and with over 100 million copies sold is one of the best-selling books of all time. This stage production is directed by Lucy Bailey, founder of the Gogmagogs theatre-music group and co-founder of The Print Room, an 80-seat venue off the West End in London.

Bailey is a self-confessed lifelong Agatha Christie fan and has been trying to get this show on the road since before the pandemic.  It’s by no means the first adaptation of the work, indeed the first stage production took place back in 1943 and there have been at least 10 film adaptations and a similar amount of TV series based on the work. However, you can sense this production has been made with a deep love of the original work, which also helps to keep it all fresh.


There’s a great cast of 11 players, all of whom put in fine performances. It almost seems a shame to pick any out, but Sophie Walter makes an excellent Vera Claythorne, who is perhaps the main protagonist of the whole production. Likewise Joseph Beattie plays the cool and debonair deuteragonist Philip Lombard with aplomb. Both Andrew Lancel and Katy Stephens add a touch of slapstick and comedy with enjoyable, perhaps verging upon caricature, performances as retired policeman William Blore and spinster Emily Brent.

Credit is also due to the costume and set designer Mike Britton and his team for some great ideas and execution, which really add to the look and feel of this production. The stage floor has been designed with a steep upward slope in it, which really adds to the mind-bending confused state. Add to that the consistent use of veils and curtains across the stage and there’s a lot of subtle things going on in the background to keep you guessing right til the end. All in all this is a very enjoyable adaptation of a seminal British murder mystery.

And Then There Were None is showing at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Saturday 20 January.

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