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Churchmice solve murder mystery issues

By Jessica McNalley, Camrose Canadian

Agatha Christie murder mystery ‘And Then There Were None’ continues at the Bailey Theatre through Saturday. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian

Agatha Christie murder mystery ‘And Then There Were None’ continues at the Bailey Theatre through Saturday. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian

Churchmice Players’ most recent attempt at taking on the classic play And Then There Were None had the audience on the edge of their seats all night.  

 

The cast was in fine form for their Nov. 9 opening night and overcame a few techincal gllitches.

The play is based on the Agatha Christie murder mystery masterpiece from 1939 and tells the story of the calculated deaths of 10 strangers who are lured to an island then start mysteriously dying. 

The book and play has been updated through the years for changing societal sensitivities, most notably a poem that is on the wall in each room of the house they are staying in, now called Ten Little Soldier Boys.  

The poem proves to be prophetic in that it details how each person on the island is going to die, the last line of which is “and then there were none.”  

What the guests of the island must solve is who is behind the murders before their number comes up.  

The set is well executed and plays a big role in the experience of the play. The stage was set for the living room of the mansion on the island, completed with a grand entry way and windows. The curtains on the windows change placement depending on the time of day. 

The back wall of the stage serves as a backdrop for effects which enhance the atmosphere and mood of the play dramatically. They change the colour of the wall making it darker or lighter which helps establish the time of day for each scene.  

One of the more clever details with the set is the removal of chairs and couches from the living room as the guests start dying off.  

At the beginning of the opening night the sound effects were a little bit too loud the augience couldn’t hear what the actors were saying, but the levels were quickly adjusted. For the rest of the play all of the sounds were right on que and added to the play just as much as the setting did. There were gun shots, lighting, banging on the doors, all of which created more intensity in the play, which was exciting.   

They have lots of props to help move the story along. A fake gun is used throughout the play and little details and items seemed to go missing right before the person they belonged to died. 

Near the end of the play a noose is supposed to fall from the rafters but the trigger didn’t work for it, so they had to go to plan B, but they had a backup rope to use in just such a case. I wouldn’t have even known that it failed by watching the play because the actors did such a good job improvising it. I only found out about it because one of the actresses explained it after the show.  

Although the set, sound effects and props make the play better the actors still carried the day. They all did amazing. There was some hesitation in the lines every once and a while but if you weren’t watching for it you wouldn’t have even noticed. Everyone had lots of enthusiasm and a good tone. And their expressive facial expressions fit well with tenor of the events in each scene.  

Overall it was an outstanding play and I would recommend it for people 14 and older because of the violent themes.   

Evening shows start at 8 p.m. and supper starts at 6:30 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. There is also one more matinee left on Saturday with lunch at 12:30 p.m. and curtains at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the play, or $55 for the play and a meal.  

 



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