Care for a classic whodunnit?

Mar 08, 2018, 08:41 IST | Phorum Dalal

Director-actor Laura Mishra says her adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None will be a fitting tribute to the legendary crime writer

(From left to right) Navin Talreja, Yash Oberoi, Tanmay Ranjan, Barkha Swaroop Saxena, Prerna Talwar and Nisha Dhar
(From left to right) Navin Talreja, Yash Oberoi, Tanmay Ranjan, Barkha Swaroop Saxena, Prerna Talwar and Nisha Dhar

Ten people gather in an isolated mansion on a beautiful island manor off the coast of Devon in England, each on a weekend party invitation from a mysterious host. A mystery without a detective, those trapped on the island are being murdered one by one per the instructions of a macabre nursery rhyme. This is the plot of a classic whodunnit, And Then There Were None, by the writing queen of crime Agatha Christie.

Mustafa Lightwalla and Navin Talreja in a scene from the ­play
Mustafa Lightwalla and Navin Talreja in a scene from the ­play

Director-actor Laura Mishra, who founded theatre group Making Noise in 2015, confesses she took to crime over drama early on. “My father was a literature teacher and I started reading early. Agatha Christie was and remains a favourite.”

Excerpts from an interview with Mishra.

Those who have not read the book
Don’t read it before the play! It is a murder mystery, right. When you are reading something, it is true of most books that the adaptation never lives up to expectation. Films and stage don’t match up to books, as so much detailing happens in the latter. Since it is a thriller, it’s great to watch it without knowing anything about it.

Those who have read the book
The end is new. Christie is the queen of crime, we all know that. Now, there is a pace to her play. Today’s generation loves everything too quick and too fast, but I have tried to keep the English feel of the play, and a steady pace of flow. Christie fans will appreciate that. Indians have a tendency to be melodramatic in their reactions. We have steered clear of it.

How challenging was it to adapt a popular classic?
The written words mean nothing until they are set the right way. Our handicap is that we are not British actors. Christie has elements that are quintessentially British in nature - she works in isolation, the plot is in the countryside, etc. We set the play in 1950 after the war, instead of 1939 when it was actually set.

On: March 10, 7.30 pm
At: St Andrews Auditorium, Saint Dominic Road, Bandra West.
Call: 9322225157
Log on to: bookmyshow.com
Cost: Rs 200 onwards

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