…see how they run…
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Until Saturday 6th September 2014
A fine ensemble cast meet to present the Agatha Christie classic in its 60th year. So why has this play continued to be performed in front of packed enthusiastic audiences? Read on…
The action centres on Monkswell Manor, a large house in the country that Mollie Ralston (Helen Clapp) has set up with her husband Giles (Henry Luxemburg). It is snowing outside but each of their five guests manage to get through to the isolated house. Each guest seem to be, in their own way, eccentric and perfectly happy to annoy the other guests.
An example of one such pair of guests clashing includes Christopher Wren and Mrs Boyle. Wren, performed wonderfully by Stephen Yeo, is happy to interact with everyone regardless of their reaction. Anne Kavanagh portrays Mrs Boyle as a cantankerous guest who clearly is not happy with her hosts’ efforts. The set includes some clever lighting and snow effects that help the audience feel the effects of the early winter nights as the draw in. The action is appropriately paced without overloading the audience with too much exposition.
We see issues of class, childhood and people’s integrity challenged as the web of lies unravels. The laughs in the final moments are a lovely touch. The whole cast weave their magic to keep the audience guessing as events unfold. Director Ian Watt-Smith has kept the legacy of Agatha Christie’s wonderful play intact.