I have long felt that it was a real shame that I have never read an Agatha Christie murder mystery, they are meant to be wonderful. I was ruminating on this fact as I drove down the road, and there as if by fate was a sign by the side of the road was a sign for a play of one her books. Fantastic. I booked myself a seat for the next night.
I have never been to a play by myself before, or even been to a play for years – it was actually rather fun. There was a medium sized audience, comfy seats, a nice convenient aisle seat and some salted caramel ice cream – so far, so good.
The play itself was wonderful – the actors/ actresses played their parts marvelously to create a vivid and entertaining social scene. I must admit to being particularly fond of the character Lucy, the eccentric lady of the house – I feel like she must have been so much fun to play! What I can only describe as a ‘Love Hexagon’ was brilliantly played out between the characters of Midge (Lucy’s cousin), who loves Edward (Lucy’s cousin), who loves Henrietta (another cousin), who is the mistress of John Christow (a friend of Lucy and her husband Henry), who is married to Gerda. To muddy these waters even further, over the weekend John is thrown into the path of old flame Veronica, an actress who lives down the road. The butler Gudgeon is hilariously played, along with the housemaid Doris.
I have to confess that when the first interval rolled around I did briefly wonder if I was in the wrong place – nobody was dead yet? I was ruminating on this fact when the couple behind me started speculating about who was going to die – reassured, I joined in and have to confess that the guessing was pretty fun. This love hexagon left so many possibilities…! I have to confess to having come to the conclusion that it was the maid who would die, since she was the only character not listed as a suspect on the flyer (spoiler alert, it was her!)
During the second interval I had a speculative chat with the same couple about who it was that had done it – I think that the intervals were well placed to allow for those two specific conversations, and I wonder if it was planned, or fortunate coincidence?
Once the detective and his sergeant begin interviewing and asking questions, the real emotional roller coaster begins; to start with there is a clear suspect, though it is quickly proven to be far too simple an answer. The line of questioning and confusion thrown in by various characters causes most characters to be valid suspects at some point or another, though near the end the killer confesses all to a confidante just minutes before the second death of the night.
It was well written, beautifully played and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I am now more interested than ever in reading a few of her books, and absolutely interested in what the Taunton Thespians come out with next.