The Archbold Community Theatre will present its winter play, the Agatha Christie chestnut “And Then There Were None,” in December at Giffey Hall in Ridgeville Corners.
The play is based on Christie’s novel of the same name, which was voted by readers in an international poll to be their all-time favorite Agatha Christie mystery at what would have been her 125th birthday. With more than 100 million copies sold worldwide, “And Then There Were None” is the best-selling crime novel of all time.
“I think it’ll keep people guessing until the very end, unless they happen to guess it right away,” said actor Ryan Mooney with tongue firmly in cheek.
Set on a rocky island off the coast of Devon in the 1930s, “And Then There Were None” tells the tale of eight strangers played by Mooney of Continental, Ohio, Jeff Patterson, Shawn Liechty, David Lantz, David Stuckey and Jodi Crossgrove, all of Archbold, and Ken Bower and Elizabeth Bower, both of Toledo. They are invited to the isle under different pretenses, where they are escorted by a Mr. Narracott (Edward Bialorucki of Ridgeville Corners), and greeted by a butler (John Meece of Napoleon) and housekeeper (Karen Bower, Toledo), who report that their hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Owen, will not arrive until the next day.
That evening, however, as they gather after dinner, the guests hear a strange recorded message accusing each of them of a murder in their past. They soon realize they do not know the mysterious Mr. and Mrs. Owen, and neither do the servants, which suggests they have been brought together as part of a curious plan.
While they discuss what to do, one of the visitors chokes on a poisoned whisky and dies. One by one, the characters find themselves picked off by an unknown killer, as their suspicion and paranoia increase, before the complex plot reaches its surprising finale.
The production is directed by Mooney and Fairy Riter of Stryker. It will be shown Dec. 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2:30 p.m.
“It has been, and is still, a great experience to be a part of ACT,” Jeff Patterson said. “I love seeing the characters evolve and take on a depth of their own. The directing team tweaks and guides ever vigilantly to smooth out the rough edges or even add some if necessary. The set is being fleshed out and decorated so it looks like someone’s home. A place to live, or die, I guess, depending on the show.”
Mathew Prichard, grandson of Agatha Christie, said, “In ‘And Then There Were None’ my grandmother has crafted a staggeringly complex plot, which has baffled, entertained, and surprised readers since it was first published, and will, I hope, do so for years to come.”