City Weekend

Dark days on murder island restaged with local theatre rendition of Agatha Christie classic

British author’s murder masterpiece And Then There Were None set for Sheung Wan film noir stage reproduction

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 11:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 11:12pm

A group of local actors are looking to transport audiences back to 1939 with a stage production of British novelist Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

Actress Elizabeth Smith and director Andy Burt are bringing the acclaimed novel to a Sheung Wan stage through theatre outfit Silver Rose Productions.

“I have been a fan of Agatha Christie for some time, but this story is my favourite,” Smith, the lead actress, said.

The story follows a group of people who have been tricked into coming to an island where they look on as they are all mysteriously murdered one by one.

“In order to get ideas, I, in my totally obsessive way, began watching and listening to every version, whether on film or radio, I could get my hands on. I even watched a version entirely in Russian,” Smith said.

Juggling a day job with rehearsals at night, Smith said she fell in love with drama very young.

“My first major role was as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. It was a Clearwater Bay School production and I was only 11. I moved to Britain when I was 15 and continued with school productions throughout,” she said.

“I am a naturally empathetic person and acting gives me the chance to step into another person’s, sometimes ruby, shoes.”

Burt, the play’s director, said of Smith: “Elizabeth is a great actor to work with as she is very open-minded and willing to try all the wacky exercises I throw at her.”

The novel was first presented on stage in London in 1943, but with a different ending from the original dark conclusion in the book, as Christie had been under pressure to rewrite the finale to make it happier, Smith said.

It was in 2015 when Christie’s grandson decided to commission the original ending for a stage production, which will be shown in Smith and Burt’s work next month at Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building.

In order to surprise the audience, the team decided to keep the film noir theme and turn the entire stage black and white.

“The idea came while we were brainstorming ways we could transport the audience back in time. We felt this would make for a visually stunning and unique experience,” Smith said.

Burt added: “Film noir and Agatha Christie seem to be an excellent match.”

Tickets are available at all URBTIX outlets from Monday.