‘And Then There Were None’ still creates goosebumps today
WHITTIER – In the annals of criminal whodunits, there is no story more commercially successful than Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.”
Published in 1939, the book has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, cementing it as the world’s most widely-read mystery novel. It’s actually one of the world’s best-selling books of any genre, trailing only a handful of classics, including “Don Quixote,” “A Tale of Two Cities” and the more recent “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
The story has been adapted into no less than 10 movies, countless radio productions, and theater shows around the globe.
Its current incarnation comes courtesy of the Whittier Community Theatre which, incredibly, manages to deliver a show that feels fresher than its 81 years.
For those unfamiliar with “And Then There Were None,” the story revolves around 10 strangers summoned to an island off the English coast. As the night progresses, the guests start dropping dead one by one, and everyone is a suspect.
Adding to the intrigue is a mysterious recording that accuses each of the guests of having committed a murder for which they were never charged.
The WCT production features a cast of stage veterans who give solid performances complete with authentic, if not thick, English accents. One of the most compelling performances is turned in by William Crisp, who returns to Whittier after portraying Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha.” He portrays Thomas Rogers, the stern but doting butler and man of reason.
The role of Vera Claythorne, an attractive former governess struggling with guilt after killing a child in her care, is expertly played by Justine Deangelo. This is Deangelo’s first time performing with the WCT but hopefully not her last.
The rest of the cast includes Candy Beck as Ethel Rogers, Richard De Vicariis as Dr. Edward Armstrong, Norman Dostal as Philip Lombard, Stamford Hill as John MacKenzie, Bryant Melton as Anthony Marston, Patty Rangel as Emily Brent, David Thomforde as Fred Narracott and Guy C. Van Empel as William Blore.
“And Then There Were None” is directed by Lenore Stjerne; Steven Sanborn is the producer and stage manager.
Also to be applauded is Mark Federickson, the set designer and technical director.
“And Then There Were None” will be performed this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m., and also next weekend, March 6-7, at 8 p.m.
Performances are at the Whittier Center Theatre, 7630 Washington Ave. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online or at the theater box office.