Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Sarah Crown
Theatre Correspondent
8:55 PM 8th November 2023

And Then There Were None

The Cast of The UK Tour
Photo Credit: Manual Harlan
The Cast of The UK Tour Photo Credit: Manual Harlan
And Then There Were None is considered to be Agatha Christie’s most popular novel. Sitting firmly within the crime genre, it is also just happens to be the best-selling crime novel of all time. The book was written in 1939, a grim period in our history as it was immediately prior to what became the second world war.

Katie Stephens
Photo Credit Manuel Harlan
Katie Stephens Photo Credit Manuel Harlan
Each of the ten characters, with their various class attitudes and accents, are invited to the remote Soldier Island off the coast of Devon by the mysterious and unseen Mr and Mrs Owen. As ever with an Agatha Christie plot, we learn that each character has both a reason and an opportunity to be the murderer as their individual dark secrets and past crimes are revealed, and with there being no astute detective to assist, the ever reducing group must turn detective themselves to identify the murderer, all the while knowing that the killer is one of their group and clearly needs to be identified as soon as possible if anyone is to survive.

As ever in life, many of our justifications for our actions are a matter of each individual’s perceptions and this is very true of the plot.

The entire cast are excellent and all will be well known to any theatre audience through their previous television and stage work.

Bob Barrett
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan
Bob Barrett Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan
Bob Barrett (Holby City) was excellent as Dr Armstrong, utilizing strong acting abilities to portray a range of emotions, whilst Andrew Lancel as William Blore, the private investigator, showed great comedic timing throughout which was quite a contrast against his admission of his violent past.

Also of note were Sophie Walter as Vera Claythorne and Jeffrey Kissoon as General Mackenzie, who simultaneously managed to convey a personal vulnerability alongside his professional and authoritative character.

The creative team have much to be proud of with this production. The Director, Lucy Bailey along with Mike Britton (Costume and Set Designer), Chris Davey (Lighting) and Elizabeth Purnell (Sound Designer and Composer) have together created a wonderful evening’s entertainment which perfectly captures the period setting and demonstrates a keen eye for detail. The clever use of props, lighting and sound, effectively convey the mounting tension and the inescapable feeling of impending doom that builds relentlessly towards the play’s climax. The set is fabulous, especially so the chandelier, an imposing centrepiece. The pace is generally brisk and as you may expect each characterization is utterly convincing and well developed.

On pain of death, I cannot reveal whodunit, for that you must see the play yourself to identify the culprit although you too can take the opportunity to analyse the various clues and in so doing reach your own conclusion.

Needless to say, there are many twists and turns along the way, after all, Agatha Christie is the author.

Sheffield Lyceum Until 11th November