Tuesday, October 28, 2014

REVIEW: “And Then There Were None” at The Empress Theatre

None-1696All photos courtesy of Clay Cammack Photography

It’s Halloween season, and The Empress Theatre only has two more showings left of their Agatha Christie murder mystery, “And Then There Were None”. The last two performances will be on Halloween, Friday October 31, 2014, and Saturday November 1st. We saw it last night, and highly recommend it to add creepiness and fun to your spooky season. You can get your tickets on The Empress website, or at their box office on Main Street in Magna.

“And Then There Were None” is the Agatha Christie murder mystery story of 10 people invited by a mysterious host to Soldier Island, where they will soon find out there is a murderer among them, and they could be the next to be killed. The murders take place in the same order as a mysterious poem, “Ten Little Soldiers”, sitting on the fireplace mantle along with 10 wooden soldiers.

None-1638This is one of the best cast productions we have seen yet at The Empress. Each actor played their part well, and showed much emotion with their character and in dealing with the stress of being stuck on an island with an unknown murderer. Without disclosing the name of the killer and giving away the mystery, I will say that my favorite actor was the killer himself. He isn’t revealed until the very end, at which time he gives his best performance throughout the entire production.

“There is something strangely satisfying about planning the perfect murder and about being able to figure out who the murderer is,” said co-director Kimberly Wicker. “This show examines the madness in all of us.”

Use caution when bringing small children to this intense. production. The plot and story line deal with death and dramatic killings, and some scenes may be too intense for young children. My kids are 8 and 10 years old, and they were okay with most of it, but were a little bit scared of one of the scenes. They did enjoy listening closely to each line, and trying to figure out who the killer is. They also kept the Ten Little Soldiers poem close at hand to follow along as each person was killed off. We appreciated the explanation of unfamiliar terms in the director’s notes in the program. Knowing what each of these meant beforehand made it easier to understand the English terms during the play.

None-2064One thing I noticed different in this production than other productions at The Empress is that there wasn’t any background music during scenes, and only in between scene changes. I was surprised that this actually added to the mystery and spookiness of the production, and because the actors did such a great job with their characters and lines, background music wasn’t needed and would have only been a distraction. Every spooky production we have seen at The Empress (The Addams Family, Jekyll and Hyde, and Young Frankenstein) has been done in such a unique way that the storyline is brought to life by how the scene and music is nicely done.

“I hope you don’t sit back and enjoy, but rather sit on the edge of your seats anticipating who will be next, how they will go, and how the murderer got them all to depart fro Soldier Island” – Amy Bodily, co-director.

Ten Little Soldier Boys

Ten Little Soldier Boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine  Little Soldier Boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight  Little Soldier Boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven Little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six  Little Soldier Boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five Little Soldier Boys going in for law; One got into Chancery and then there were four.

Four Little Soldier Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three Little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two Little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun; One got Frizzled up and then there was One.

One  Little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.

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