Concept Players present And Then There Were None 

By Agatha Christie


NODA review by Frank Wooles

Ten strangers are mysteriously invited as houseguests to an island off the coast of Devon. Each has a guilty secret. One by one they meet their demise – and where is their missing host? In a delightfully dramatic performance by Ellie Hoare, elegant secretary Vera Claythorne has been engaged to receive the guests together with the calm and efficient butler Tom Rogers (Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon) – who ensures that everyone has breakfast despite the death of his wife Ethel, played by Helen Windsor! The guests prove a strange mix with little in common; the smooth army captain Phillip Lombard (Paul Buckle); the bogus South African William Bloare (Martyn Ryan); the geriatric General Mackenzie (Nick Pratt) and the nervous Doctor Armstrong played by Steve Davies; the glamorous socialite Adele Marston (Clare Hovey), and the acerbic spinster Emily Brent (Bobbie MacNiven-Young); with Neil Davies as retired judge Sir Lawrence Wargrave, who assumes leadership of the eclectic and diminishing party. Intrigue abounds in a secure, well-honed production by Rob Purnell (who also made a Hitchcock-like appearance as the boatman), and a sound and experienced cast kept up the pace and tension playing colourful interesting characters. Wardrobe by Concept was attractive and looked very much of the period, with a well dressed, good looking set, designed and built by the Players, as ever with an eye to their various touring venues. A light-hearted evening of intrigue and mystery from the pen of the Queen of crime writers, who gave murder an air of genteel respectability, Agatha Christie.


Originally published Spring 2012



Penarth Times

This review appeared in the Penarth Times on Thursday 29th September 2011


"What a Wizard Production"

Agatha Christie’s “simply marvellous” days of weekend and summer retreats spent in other people’s houses (when no-one seemed to know or care about the identity of one’s host)) were brought back to life last week by Concept Players production of And Then There Were None.  

Brought together on isolated Soldier Island , ten summer guests, each with a guilty secret, find themselves stranded for the weekend without their host while a convenient storm delays any boat from rescuing them.  

Their crimes are listed for all to hear via a gramophone recording, the ten guests are then unceremoniously killed, one by one, over a 36 hour period, while tension mounts, nerves are strained and insults are hurled.  

The cleverly crafted plot still enthrals an audience some 70 years after it was written, despite some rather stilted writing at times, and the murders, when they are done right under our noses still have the power to surprise and shock.  

Director Rob Purnell did a fine job casting the play, with some particularly good performances which need a mention. Firstly, Nick Pratt as the aged General, complete with shaky hands and facial tremors – which created just the right effect. I liked Clare Hovey’s portrayal of a “bright young thing” more money than brains enjoying her “wizard” little sports car that could reach 90 mph. Finally, we had consistently fine acting from Ellie Hoare, who led the action and pace throughout, looking lovely in her 1930 frocks, even when getting crazed with fright as the murders continued. Well done to the rest of the cast on good strong performances, with suitable period costumes and hair styles.    

The set was beautifully done – as we have come to expect from Concept. We had a fascinatingly intricate drawing room, with French windows dressed in soft purple velvet drapes, period writing desk, screen and a wonderful Art Deco drinks trolley. The mantelpiece above the Adam fireplace was home to the ten little china figurines of soldiers, which were cleverly reduced, changed or were broken as the victims died. This busy set had to be made first in Abergavenny then dismantled and re-rigged here in the Paget Rooms for last week’s production.  No mean feat so well done the backstage teams who make it all happen.  

A mention must be made of the Paget Rooms makeover of the foyer area which looks lovely.  We are so lucky to have this marvellous theatre in our home town and even luckier to have the talented Concept Players to entertain us so royally.  Well done and thank you old chaps, spiffing production and a wizard night!!  



And Then There Were None set

"The set was beautifully done – as we have come to expect from Concept."

Penarth Times


Paul and Ellie

Paul and Ellie as Captain Lombard and Miss Claythorne

Neil Davies as Sir Wargrave

Neil as Sir William Wargrave