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Water Lane Theatre Company stages bestselling Agatha Christie murder mystery And Then There Were None at Rhodes Arts Complex in Bishop's Stortford

Murder mystery returns to Rhodes Arts Complex next week (March 19-21) in the form of Water Lane Theatre Company’s gripping production of the world's best-selling crime novel.

Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is the acclaimed stage version of her 1939 book, which has sold more than 100 million copies and is one of the bestselling of all time. It was adapted by the author herself in 1943.

Set in August 1939 on an island off the coast of Devon, eight unsuspecting guests and two servants have gathered for a house party, invited by a host that none of them knows.

The cast of Water Lane's And Then There Were None at Rhodes (31188894)
The cast of Water Lane's And Then There Were None at Rhodes (31188894)

But the weekend turns into an entirely different affair when one by one they are killed off by a murderer in their midst.

The play, like the book, was originally titled and performed in the UK as Ten Little N*****s, after the 19th-century minstrel song, which serves as a major plot point. It was also performed as Ten Little Indians. The US edition was released in January 1940 with the title And Then There Were None – the last five words of the song.

Since its publication, the story has taken on many different guises, with alternative endings and formats including film, stage, radio, graphic novel, computer game and a Christmas 2015 BBC TV mini-series which starred Charles Dance, Aidan Turner, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson and Toby Stephens.

The cast and crew of Water Lane's And Then There Were None at Rhodes (31188896)
The cast and crew of Water Lane's And Then There Were None at Rhodes (31188896)

This isn’t Bishop's Stortford amateur drama company Water Lane’s first encounter with Christie at Rhodes. In 2008 it performed Cards on the Table, and last year it brought Murder on the Nile to the same stage, for which it won a regional NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) award on Sunday for the set on board a paddle steamer.

It is directed by Will Jamieson, making his directorial debut, and stars husband and wife Matthew and Hannah Juggins as Philip Lombard and Vera Claythorne, Granville Rush as Justice Wargrave, Jack Stevens as Anthony Marston, Andy Roberts as Det Sgt William Henry Blore, Michael Beavan as General Macarthur, Billie Kerr as Emily Brent, Amanda Green as Dr Armstrong, Paul Winspear and Vanessa Povey as Thomas and Ethel Rogers, and Greg Hill as Fred Narracott.

* And Then There Were None is being performed from Thursday to Saturday (March 19-21) at 7.30pm, with a 3pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are £16 (concessions £14) for the evening performances and £12 for the Saturday matinee. For tickets, visit the Rhodes box office online, call 01279 710200 or visit the venue in South Road in person.

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