“And Then There Were None” is the Agatha Christie play that time
never forgets. Ever since its New York premiere as “Ten Little
Indians” in 1944, having been adapted by the author from her 1939
book, it has never been shunned by our theaters.
But, in George Strattan’s immaculate revival for the Glendale
Centre Theatre, it not only gets a career- defining performance from
Jerry Kokich as Capt. Philip Lombard, but reminds us of Christie’s
talent for combining English hypocrisy with comic despair.
At first blush, the play is extremely simple, though Christie
herself once considered the plot “near impossible,” and wrote the
book in 1939 “after a tremendous amount of planning.”
Ten people, including a judge, an eminent doctor and a retired
general, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island, off the
coast of Devon, England, in 1938. Their hosts have a capacity for
haunting the conversation without ever actually appearing, and, cut
off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of
their own past lives, the guests one by one share their darkest
secrets. And one by one, they die.
Strattan’s continually gripping production endows the text with an
oblique tension and is excellently cast.
Kokich is exquisite as Lombard, the masterful and dashing, yet
somewhat uptight, “soldier of fortune.”
The always-entertaining and professional Richard Malmos perfectly
captures the posturing and alcoholic pathos of the detective William
Blore. And Amberly Chamberlain is the ideal Vera Claythorne, the
secretary, all shy smiles and awkward verbal exchanges.
Elaine Rose is notable as the spinster, Emily Brent, with a gift
for delivering rapid barbs that, in the end, are a camouflage for her
But the real winner is Christie, who reminds us of her capacity to
write the perfect mystery while exposing the double standards and
hypocrisy of England on the eve of World War II, remaining funny all
at the same time.