Actors shine in Ladysmith production of And Then There Were None

The Ladysmith Little Theatre is kicking off the 2012-13 season with an Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Suspense. Intrigue. Deception. Death.

The opening production of Ladysmith Little Theatre’s 2012-13 season has it all.

Ladysmith Little Theatre is kicking off the season with a bang — literally — by presenting the Agatha Christie murder mystery And Then There Were None.

Murder and mayhem abound when eight strangers are invited to a mansion on Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon, England, in Christie’s first and most successful murder mystery play.

The guests — an interesting collection of strangers that includes a nervous doctor, a judge, a young secretary and an uptight older woman — discover that their hosts are not at the island yet, but they will be served by butler Thomas Rogers and his wife, Ethel, the cook.

As they settle in, they are shocked when a strange voice from a phonograph accuses each person in the house of committing murder. It’s the start of the madness, as, one by one, the guests are murdered.

The deaths parallel the nursery rhyme Ten Little Soldiers, a framed copy of which sits in the living room overlooking a group of 10 soldier boy figurines on the mantle. As each guest is murdered, one of the figurines disappears. Amazingly, the murders often seem to happen right under our noses, but there are never any clues as to who the killer could be.

The guests discover there’s no boat to get off Soldier Island, and as their numbers dwindle, they realize the killer is amongst them and start suspecting each other.

Great acting by every cast member brings this suspenseful story to life. Their facial expressions and body language add to the mood of the scene, and they even make us laugh despite all the suspense in the air.

The set was great, with a beautiful seascape that made you feel like you were right there on Soldier Island, and lots of great detail inside the mansion. The use of music and sound helps set the mood throughout the play.

And Then There Were None features a mix of new and familiar faces on stage who each bring a lot of energy to their role.

Maureen Martin plays Mrs. Rogers, while Doug Robson plays Rogers and Stephanie Hart takes the stage as Narracott, who brings the guests to Soldier Island.

House guests include Inge Cathers as Emily Brent, Gordon Ray as General Mackenzie, Alyx Szasz-Nicholson as Anthony Marsden, Gordon McInnis as Sir L. Wargrave, Tabatha Jasper as Vera Claythorne, Erik Tully as William Blore, Greg Heide as Phillip Lombard and Debbie Cameron as Dr. Armstrong.

And Then There Were None runs until Sept. 30 at the Ladysmith Little Theatre. For tickets or show information, call the box office at 250-924-0658 or visit www.ladysmiththeatre.com.