Ten strangers invited to spend the summer holiday of 1939 on Soldier Island, off the coast of Dover, England. There’s a dark children’s nursery rhyme, ten toy soldiers, a violent storm, secrets and lies, a gun, an ax and guests who begin to die one by one. The cast of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” at Fremont Centre Theatre takes you on a wickedly fun thrillride sure to satisfy Christie fans and anyone up for a rollicking good murder mystery.
Produced by Gloria Bennett and Young Stars Theatre, the show is presented by two complete casts; one traditional and one youth cast. Director Jack Bennett has assembled a crackerjack cast for both and his taut direction keeps things tense as the danger builds to the dramatic conclusion.
Each guest, including two servants, have received invitations by mail from a Mr. U.N. Owens. None of them have actually met Mr Owens but each are given some reasonable pretense for being invited. Questions abound from the outset as the guests come to realize they have all been summoned for very specific, dark reasons. As they begin turning up dead, suspicions mount and accusations fly. But is the killer somewhere on the island or is it, in fact, one of them?
A feisty and vivacious Mirai Booth-Ong is the headstrong private secretary, Vera Claythorne, hired to oversee the proceedings. She immediately catches the eye of, well every gentleman present, but develops a bond with the dashing Captain Lombard, played with smooth swagger by Shaun Duke Jr.
John Farley takes the lead in trying to parse out the clues as the erudite judge, Sir Lawrence Wargrave, bringing a grounded sophistication to the role while George Triplett is melancholy and menacing as General Mackenzie, an older man teetering on the edge of dementia, hallucinating about his long dead wife. A thoroughly engaging Tamarah Ashton makes the absolute most of her holier-than-thou, judgmental Emily Brent. Her lines are delivered with a razor sharp edge and an impeccably arched brow.
Liz Barone comes across as a very competent and dedicated Dr. Armstrong who, for all her skill, has a secret she works diligently to keep hidden. The delightful Conor Burke serves up the impossibly privileged Anthony Marston with the perfect combination of callowness and panache. Frederick Dechow gives the right kind of working class, procedural quality to his ex-policeman, William Blore. Chris Girt makes a terrific boatsman, Fred, while Bryan Novarro gives the right kind of soberness to the distinguished butler, Thomas Rogers, and Jen Farley is properly cantankerous as housekeeper Mrs. Rogers.
As spine-tingling as it all is, the play is extremely funny as well, making for a thoroughly entertaining evening of theatre. The youth cast is more than up to the task of taking on this daunting thriller; they will have you laughing hysterically and gasping at the chilling twists and turns!
The ever increasingly dapper Levi Srabalus takes on the role of Captain Lombard with Hudson Barone as Anthony Marston, Veronica Koutsky as Vera Claythorne, Sorsha Khitikian as Dr. Armstrong, Carolyn Mottern as William Blore, Akirin Au as Thomas Rogers, Rowan Farley as Ethel Rogers, Lindsay Osborne as Emily Brent, Asha Quibilan as Fred Narracott, Gabe Michlin as General Arthur Mackenzie and Corwin Daley in a dynamic turn as the judge, Sir Lawrence Wargrave.
And Then There Were None continues at Fremont Center Theatre through February 3, 2019. Located at 1000 Fremont Avenue in South Pasadena. For showtimes and ticketing, as well as more info about YST, you can go to www.YoungStarsTheatre.org