Walking into the Waterworks playhouse I was mesmerized by the extraordinary set, designed by Moffat Evans, that lay situated in the middle of a semi-circle of theatre style seating. It was not difficult to put yourself in the 1940’s living room of a secluded island manor off the coast of England. Everything was strategically placed, down to the handmade “bear skin” rug by the hearth. The audience took their seats chatting excitedly amongst themselves. Everyone knew they were about to be thoroughly entertained.
The lights dim, the act begins. Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” suddenly came to life in front of our eyes. The audience in the sold-out theatre hushed, straining to hear any secrets that might slip from the lips of the players.
On stage, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers (Randall Linkins and Meagan Morrissey), parlor man and cook, busy themselves opening the old manor house in anticipation of the important guests they were told to expect. This scene lent some comic relief that settled the audience nicely. As the guests begin to arrive, the first mystery begins. Each player brings a deeper level of character and talent to the stage, as they troop in from the unseen boat manned by Winifred Narracott (Stephanie Piscitelli) that carried them to the island.
The plot begins to twist in true Christie form, extenuated by the excellent sound (Chris Brochon and Becky Dorsey) and lighting (Scott Chapman and Kim Boswell) talents work in the background. We, the audience, sit as an afterthought; a part of the play and yet invisible to the players. Eaves dropping on the lives of those on the stage. Being sucked into this world so thoroughly, that the whole room jumps in a collective startle when the first shot rings out.
The acting is truly amazing. Each player shed their true personas, wearing their character as comfortably as a second skin. However, in my humble opinion, Kolby Grimsley’s portrayal of the vivacious secretary Vera Claythorne was outstanding. Greg Tsigaridas also stands out, portraying Captain Phillip Lombard as a man you could truly love to hate.
That being said, I could go on and on about the obnoxious police officer William Blore (Billy Tucker), the upright General Mackenzie (Mike Montgomery), the pillar of the courts, Sir Lawrence Wargrave (Jordan Whiley) and the very nervous “nerve” doctor, Dr. Armstrong (Don Blaheta). Adding another level of intrigue is playboy Anthony Marston (Elijah Logue), who’s arrival creates a quasi-love triangle as both Phillip and Marston vie for the attention of Vera while the fanatically pious Emily Brent (Marie Schroeder) scolds them in a perfectly passive way.
Thunder and lightning, murder and mayhem, splendid performances and smooth scene changes make you forget that this is merely a small community playhouse supported by local amateur actors. Scott Chapman’s directorial debut could not have gone better. He put together an amazing show.
Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” runs for two more dates, August 11 and August 12 beginning at 8 p.m. If you have the chance to experience this performance of the Waterworks Players, don’t miss it.