The original whodunit

Tupelo Community Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie murder mystery “And Then There Were None” will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26; Friday, March 27; and Saturday, March 28; and a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, March 28 at The Lyric. Tickets are $15 adults; students and younger $6. (662) 844-1935.

For detective story fans, that’s almost always the start to an exciting tale of murder, mystery and suspense.

“And Then There Were None” is a celebrated take on the murder mystery genre, and Tupelo Community Theatre is bringing that story to the stage this weekend.

“This is the standard form for murder mystery,” said Josh Mabus, the play’s director. “This is the formula of – lights go out, somebody’s dead.”

“And Then There Were None” is adapted from the world’s best-selling mystery novel, “Ten Little Indians” by Agatha Christie.

“This is the whodunit play,” Mabus said.

“And Then There Were None” begins when eight strangers arrive at a mansion at the request of a Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen. The couple’s maid and butler tell them their hosts are away. As the strangers get to know one other a little better, a mysterious voice announces all 10 of them are guilty of murder. As the 10 characters play detective to figure out how they all ended up there and how they are connected to murders, the plot, as they say, thickens. And questions abound.

So, whodunit?
Jim Fraiser makes his TCT debut as Sir Lawrence Wargrave.

“There are really two characters, because you have to look suspicious, but not guilty,” he said.

Amye Gousset, who stars as Vera Claythorne, said it’s that mysterious part of the play that makes these characters interesting.

“That’s part of the excitement – there’s so many levels, and trying to be innocent and also devious,” Gousset said. “It’s interesting to see how Vera starts and how she ends up. We go from one extreme to the other.”

Mabus promises things are not as they seem in “And Then There Were None.”

“There’s a plot twist,” he said. “Not a Sixth Sense’ plot twist, but a plot twist.”

Besides that, Mabus said TCT’s “And Then There Were None” is solid entertainment.

“It’s a chance to see 10 great actors in a well-written show that has a plot that’s familiar to everybody,” he said. “It’s not too deep, not too light. You don’t have to be a heavy theater-goer to appreciate it.”


Sheena Barnett/Daily Journal

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