The cast of "And Then There Were None" Source: Deb Belanger

Review: Arctic Playhouse Delivers a First-Rate Agatha Christie Mystery with 'And Then There Were None'

Joe Siegel READ TIME: 2 MIN.

The Arctic Playhouse has come up with a first-rate adaptation of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None."

10 strangers are summoned to an island off the English coast and are murdered one at a time. There's no phone to call for help and a bad storm is keeping any boat from reaching the island. A nursery rhyme on the wall provides clues to who will die next.

Who is the killer? Could it be their mysterious host, U.N. Owen? Or someone else lurking on the island? Or perhaps one of the guests?

The pleasure of an Agatha Christie book is the way the author manipulates the reader into suspecting one character, then another, then another, by dropping lots of red herrings. You get plenty of that here.

A recording informs all the guests that they will be punished for various crimes they have committed. There is Blore (Paul Koczwanski), a gruff detective; General MacKenzie (Michael Jepson); Lombard (Mark Gallagher), a former mercenary; the reckless young rogue Marston (Daniel Holmes); Wargrave (Paul Nolette), a judge; Vera (Carolyn Coughlin), a former governess; the crabby Mrs. Brent (Beth Jepson); and Armstrong (Dave Almeida), a befuddled doctor.

The butler Thomas (Frederick Dodge) and his wife Ethel (Karen Gail Kessler), who serves as cook, are also potential murderers/victims.

Eventually the murderer is revealed, but not before a few shocking twists in the darkness.

Veteran director David Jepson, working with very capable lighting and sound technicians, has crafted a suspenseful and compelling show.

The performers really sink their teeth into these twisted souls and are amusing to watch as they turn on one another.

Coughlin ("All My Sons") brings a raw intelligence and vulnerability to Vera. Gallagher, making his Arctic debut, is alternately charming and dastardly as the vain Lombard. Nolette ("Inherit the Wind") embodies Wargrave with an air of authority that masks a deep malignancy. Beth Jepson also turns in some dynamic work as the holier-than-thou Brent, a rigid and uncompromising old woman.

Anyone with a taste for the macabre and a dark sense of humor will find plenty to savor in this production.

"And Then There Were None" runs through April 28. The Arctic Playhouse. 1249 Main Street, West Warwick, RI. For tickets, call 401-573-3443 or visit

by Joe Siegel

Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.

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