After over seventy years since it was written, Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery And Then There Were None remains her best-selling novel. Although the two are unconnected, audiences may observe similarities between And Then There Were None and Clue. Ten people unknown to each other are brought to a common location by an unknown host; we eventually find that their commonality lies in individual involvement in a past death. As the house guests begin mysteriously dropping dead, the survivors must race against the clock to solve the mystery and find the murderer….

Cary Players‘ set designer Glenn Vance set the stage with a beautifully crafted English country estate. The classic proscenium stage at the Cary Arts Center framed the home, backed by floor-to-ceiling windows and dressed with lush furniture and a well-stocked liquor cabinet. Equally well dressed, in the designs of David Serxner, were the actors, each in character specific pieces consistent with the time period of the show. Costume design supported the work that each actor brought to their character. The danger of a fairly large cast with equal parts in a show is that specific roles may be lost in the mix. Each member of this Cary Players’ company for And Then There Were None developed a specific character or two – in the case of Brook North and Bill LaFrankie as William Blore and Sir Lawerence Wargrave – and maintained their individuality without jeopardizing the unity of the plot. With many in the cast new to the acting experience, Cary Players presented a solidly entertaining production that kept the audience guessing until the final reveal.

In a business full of minimalist shows with an agenda, And Then There Were None provided a refreshing break with a purely entertaining mystery in a brief return to escapist theatre. With structured designs under their beautiful proscenium arch, it appeals to every aesthetic for any audience. Cary Players preach no political or social message with this Agatha Christie adaptation, seeking only to entertain, which they did with great success.

This production runs through February 12. For details, see the sidebar.