None can compare with this Christie classic

And Then There Were None at the Pomegranate Theaatre, Chesterfield.
And Then There Were None at the Pomegranate Theaatre, Chesterfield.

Agatha Christie fans are in for a real treat this week with star-studded touring version of And Then There Were None, playing at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre, writes Tony Spittles.

This, the sixth stop-off on a 22-venue tour zig-zagging from Bath to Newcastle and Eastbourne to Blackpool, sports more names than a West End production for a fraction of the cost.

And there’s a double celebration for this must-see thriller as it is the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Queen of Crime and the tenth birthday of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company who give a new edge to this enduring masterpiece.

Over the years, the original title has been changed due to PC considerations, but the drama has stayed constant as ten strangers are lured to a remote island off the Devon coast.

So, it’s curtain up on a who’s who of TV and theatre favourites, starting with Emmerdale star Frazer Hines as the butler, Rogers, and his housekeeper wife (Judith Rae), getting ready to welcome their guests - all of whom had been summoned to the island by their mysterious and absent host, Mr Owen.

The motley assortment of visitors making their way across the bay to the island include High Court judge Sir Lawrence Wingrave (Paul Nicholas), South African millionaire-cum-undercover cop William Blore (Colin Buchanan from Dalziel and Pascoe), allr-ounder Mark Curry as a teetotal doctor, and Susan Penhaligon as a Bible-quoting spinister.

Joining the list of suspects, or they maybe culprits, are speeding “road hog” Anthony Marston (Paul Hassall), who is the first to be bumped off, and “bright young things” Philip Lombard (Ben Nealon from Soldier, Soldier) and ‘Emmerdale’ and West End leading lady Verity Rushworth as the fashion trendy Vera Claythorne.

In true Christie fashion, the body count keeps rising as the guests’ enforced stay becomes a deadly game of survival, keeping the audience guessing as to the identity of the real killer right until the final curtain.

This production is on at the Pomegranate until this Saturday, March 7, and for further details of showtimes and tickets, £19.50 to £29.50, contact the box office on 01246 345222, or via the website at www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk

Photo by Pamela Raith