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Written By: Agatha Christie
Directed By: Adrian Barnes
A group of people are lured into coming to an island under different pretexts, e.g., offers of employment, to enjoy a late summer holiday, or to meet old friends. All have been complicit in the deaths of other human beings, but either escaped justice or committed an act that was not subject to legal sanction. The guests and two servants who are present are "charged" with their respective "crimes" by a gramophone recording after dinner the first night, and informed that they have been brought to the island to pay for their actions. They are the only people on the island, and cannot escape due to the distance from the mainland and the inclement weather, and gradually all ten are killed in turn, each in a manner that seems to parallel the deaths in the nursery rhyme. Nobody else seems to be left alive on the island by the time of the apparent last death.
Judge Lawrence Wargrave - 60’s A recently retired judge. Wargrave is a highly intelligent old man with a commanding personality. As the characters begin to realize that a murderer is hunting them, Wargrave’s experience and air of authority make him a natural leader for the group. He lays out evidence, organizes searches, and ensures that weapons are locked away safely. Wargrave’s strong sense of justice combined with a sadistic delight in sentencing criminals to death are key attributes to his character.
Vera Claythorne - 25 A former governess who comes to Indian Island purportedly to serve as a secretary to Mrs. Owen. Vera wants to escape a past in which she killed a small boy in her care, Cyril Hamilton, so that the man she loved would inherit Cyril’s estate. Although the coroner cleared her of blame, Vera’s lover abandoned her. Vera is one of the most intelligent and capable characters, but she also suffers from attacks of hysteria, feels guilty about her crime, and reacts nervously to the uncanny events on the island. The “Ten Little Indians” poem has a powerful effect on her.
Philip Lombard - 35 A mysterious, confident, and resourceful man who seems to have been a mercenary soldier in Africa. Lombard is far bolder and more cunning than most of the other characters, traits that allow him to survive. His weakness is his chivalrous attitude toward women, particularly Vera, with whom he has a number of private conversations. He cannot think of her as a potential killer, and he underestimates her resourcefulness, which proves a fatal mistake.
Dr. Edward George Armstrong - 45’ish A gullible, slightly timid doctor. Armstrong often draws the suspicion of the other guests because of his medical knowledge. He is a recovering alcoholic who once accidentally killed a patient by operating on her while drunk. Armstrong, while professionally successful, has a weak personality, making him the perfect tool for the murderer. He has spent his whole life pursuing respectability and public success, and is unable to see beneath people’s exteriors.
William Henry Blore - 40’s A former police inspector. Blore’s experience often inspires others to look to him for advice. As a policeman, he was corrupt and framed a man named Landor at the behest of a criminal gang. On the island, he acts boldly and frequently takes initiative, but he also makes frequent blunders. He constantly suspects the wrong person, and his boldness often verges on foolhardiness.
Emily Brent - 45 – 50 A spinster, with a disagreeable, suspicious face, a ruthlessly religious woman who reads her Bible every day. The recording accuses Emily Brent of killing Beatrice Taylor, a servant whom she fired upon learning that Beatrice was pregnant out of wedlock. Beatrice subsequently killed herself. Unlike the other characters, Emily Brent feels convinced of her own righteousness and does not express the slightest remorse for her actions.
Thomas Rogers - 40 – 50 A competent middle aged manservant , not a butler, but a house parlour man. Quick and deft. Just a trifle suspicious and shifty. Rogers continues to be a proper servant even after his wife is found dead and the bodies begin piling up. The recording accuses Rogers and his wife of letting their former employer die because they stood to inherit money from her.
Ethel Rogers - 50’s Rogers’s wife. Ethel is a frail woman, and the death of Tony Marston makes her faint. Wargrave believes her husband dominates her and that he masterminded their crime.
General MacKenzie - 60’s The oldest guest. MacKenzie is accused of sending a lieutenant, Arthur Richmond, to his death during World War I because Richmond was his wife’s lover. Once the first murders take place, Macarthur, already guilt-ridden about his crime, becomes resigned to his death and sits by the sea waiting for it to come to him.
Anthony Marston – 25 A rich, athletic, handsome youth. Tony Marston likes to drive recklessly and seems to lack a conscience. He killed two small children in a car accident caused by his speeding, but shows no remorse.
Fred Narracott, the boatman who delivered the guests to the island. After doing so he does not appear again in the story. (Although in the book Inspector Maine notes that it was Narracott who found the bodies).
Rehearsals commence early September 2018 at the ARTS Theatre
Nov 15,16,17,21,22,23,24 at 8pm plus one matinee at 2pm on 24th 2018
ARTS Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide
Thursday 4th and Friday 5th January between 5 - 8pm
ARTS Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide
Ray Trowbridge on 0415 756 536 or via firstname.lastname@example.org