And Then There Were None

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

> Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Lovers of art-deco crime, of the English island view of the world of twists and turns in plot, of actors who go beyond stereotypical characters and fans of the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, should set course for the Maddermarket.

And Then There Were None is based on a verse, Ten Little Soldiers, the plot ingeniously sees a mysterious host bring 10 unconnected people to an island to accuse them of a variety of murders. Subsequently they are bumped off in increasingly gruesome acts of vengeance.

Undercurrents of loathing, class conflict and a sense of period are directed superbly by Peter Sowerbutts around a clever and workable set.

Stylistically it is difficult to portray characters who face certain but random death as the twists raise the tempo, but they found their feet and maintained the humour to entertain us all.

The characters are unlovely but eccentric while the performers drive the plot effectively. Unfair to single any out, but John Mangan's cop pretending to be South African and Neville Miller as the dotty codger really stick in the mind.

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The denouement is both unexpected and satisfying, bringing to an end an enjoyable night at the theatre.

And one lucky member of the audience each night will win a copy of the book. Go for it!