Ten Little Soldiers
By Dan and Alison Tingley
All An Act Theatre Productions is currently presenting Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Larry Lewis directs this murder mystery. One of Christie’s best known mysteries, And Then There Were None was first published in the US in 1940 and premiered on stage in 1943, opening on Broadway in 1944. It was turned into a movie in 1945 and has been redone in various forms several times since including episodes of “Get Smart” and “Family Guy.”
Ten people are invited to an island for various reasons. They then find themselves stranded there as each is accused of murder by their conveniently absent host. Then the first guest dies, and the others notice that the death reflects the first line of a nursery rhyme, “Ten Little Soldiers” posted on the wall and that one of the ten soldier figures placed under the poster is missing. Convinced that this is a coincidence, they try to make the best of the evening. When a second guest dies in a manner described by the second line of the nursery rhyme and another figure goes missing, tension starts to rise. As the body count climbs, the remaining guests become suspicious of each other, as they cannot find another person anywhere on the small island. Insert ominous sounding music followed by a maniacal, Vincent Price type laugh here.
The show features Jerry Villella (Rogers), Manx Foster (Mrs. Rogers), Darlene Everhart (Cora Narracott), Dave DiCola (Anthony Marston), Bob Dombrowski (General McKenzie), Ruth Scandale (Emily Brent), Chad Santos (Dr. Armstrong), David W. Mitchell (William Blore), Larry Lewis (Sir Lawrence Wargrave), Adele Crotty (Vera Claythorne), and Nick Kikola (Phillip Lombard). Unfortunately, Villella and Dombrowski were very difficult to hear. These two actors, along with Foster, deliver dialog that seems delayed and forced. Everhart gives a believable, albeit brief, performance as the boat captain who brings supplies and guests over from the main land.
To avoid repetition (This is not a cop-out. We just feel that each of these performers does a fantastic job.), let us say that DiCola, Scandale, Santos, Mitchell, Lewis, Crotty, and Kikola each give an outstanding performance. They are natural. They don’t seem like they are acting, but rather re-acting to the circumstances in the play. Each of these actors does a fine job of portraying the quirks of their very different characters.
Every detail of the set is perfect. Lewis’ direction is very well done.
And Then There Were None runs on weekends through March 3. It’s well worth seeing. Even if you already know the identity of the murderer, you will not be disappointed. Visit the website at www.allanact.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.