And Then There Were None
‘And Then There Were None’ brought a whiff of mystery to the Manipal theater scene. Staged at the Syndicate Golden Jubilee Hall, the play was a take on the timeless Agatha Christie bestseller by the same name. With a full house of guests attending the play, Aaina Dramatics received a well-deserved standing ovation for their production.
Putting forth a play based on such an acclaimed novel is not an easy task. Aaina has always set the bar for dramatics high, and they definitely met the expectations of every person in the audience. It showed that a great deal of effort had gone into the production of the play. From the actors’ stellar performances to the backdrops, everything looked to have been meticulously taken care of.
The play begins with a couple being anonymously appointed by a Mr and Mrs Owen as housekeepers for their lavish mansion on a secluded island. Eight people with seemingly no connections are rendezvoused on to the island by Mr and Mrs Owen, who themselves are not present. The confusion starts creeping in when they realize that although each one of them had been invited on to the island with a customized invitation, none of them actually knew the Owens. Things quickly take a sinister turn as one of the guests is killed. It is then revealed that each one of the ten people present is accused of being a murderer. The gripping story unravelled with the guests starting to die one after the other in sync with the rhyme ‘Ten Little Soldiers’. With nobody else on the island with them, the quest is now to find the killer amidst themselves.
The play had everyone gnawing at their fingernails as each death created waves of tension amongst the audience. When the killer was brought to light the auditorium erupted into screams of awe, everything falling into place like the final piece of a puzzle.
With the story set in Plymouth, it is remarkable that some of the actors managed to pull off a spot-on accent. Anvesh Badamikar definitely deserves a special mention for his brilliant performance as Justice Lawrence Wargrave. To quote Suryansh Mishra, president of Aaina dramatics and a director of the play, “We have witnessed various plays on various genres, but no one had really captured the essence of mystery. Which is why this year we decided to incorporate it. We specifically chose ‘And Then There Were None’ because each one of the ten people were equally important and had their own story.”
The mystery element of the novel was alluringly captured and had all eyes glued to the stage. The actors were truly able to make a connection with the audience, skillfully embodying the characters of the novel. To bring an Agatha Christie novel to life is a commendable job, which Aaina Dramatics pulled off with aplomb.