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Stage Left brings a classic Christie mystery to downtown Spokane

Murder is the name of game in “And Then There Were None,” based on the classic Agatha Christie novel. The play opens this weekend at Stage Left. (Chris Wooley / Stage Left)
Murder is the name of game in “And Then There Were None,” based on the classic Agatha Christie novel. The play opens this weekend at Stage Left. (Chris Wooley / Stage Left)

Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel “And Then There Were None” comes to life beginning tonight at Stage Left Theater.

“It’s just a great story,” said Bryan Durbin, the director of the production. “It’s got suspense and some underlying humor in it.”

The show follows the plot of the novel closely. Eight strangers arrive on a remote island, invited by a mystery host known only as U.N. Owen. Upon arrival, the guests are greeted by Thomas and Ethel Rogers, U.N. Owen’s servants. All 10 soon realize that none of them has met the host, and when someone starts killing off the guests it’s a race to find the killer before it is too late.

Though Stage Left’s performance will stay true to the original script – to which Christie herself largely contributed – Durbin has taken some liberties by gender-bending several of the roles.

Anthony Marston will be Amelia Marston, (Abby Constable) for this rendition. Justice Wargrave has been changed to Dame Laurel Wargrave and will be played by Sarah Plumb.

“She just read beautifully for the part,” Durbin said. “She read it better than most of the males vying for that role.”

Additionally, Lulu Stafford will play a man, William Henry Blore.

“While wanting to stay true to a script, I also want to do something fun and imaginative with it that can make more statements,” Durbin said of his casting decisions, which he feels reflect the philosophy of Stage Left and his own personal views.

Stage Left is known for their edgy and provocative productions. Their mission is to encourage the public to think deeply and engage with issues that are social, political and intellectual.

According to Durbin, “And Then There Were None” can “be molded to fit” within Stage Left’s mission statement, but is not a typical work for the company to present.

The summer season at Stage Left provides local directors with the opportunity to pitch a play they would like to direct. Such is the case with Durbin’s direction of “And Then There Were None.”

This is Durbin’s first time directing for StageLeft, though he spent time as the technical director for the company. He specializes in fight choreography and also designed the sets for “And Then There Were None.”

The show also stars Andre Cossette and Rebecca Stockton as Rogers and Mrs. Rogers, Dana Sammond as Vera Claythorne, Steven Schneidmiller as Philip Lombard, George Morrison as General Mackenzie, Mary Jo Rudolf as Emily Brent, and Gary Pierce as both Fred Narracott and Dr. Armstrong.

Those who have read the classic book should not take the play off their list; both versions of the story end differently, so suspense is guaranteed.

 

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