Summary of the Play The plot of the play is based on a story by Agatha Christie revolving on a murder mystery. It began showing in 1952 and till now has been playing repeatedly in West London and other numerous cities and countries including the USA. The play is based on two acts. The first act is based on two scenes, with the first scene being titled as The Great Hall, Late Afternoon, where four guests arrive at the Monkswell Manor. A murder has been reported in the local paper and with the arrival of the fifth stranger; these guests grow uneasy as they become stranded in the snow. The next scene is titled as ‘The Same, The following day after lunch’ where conflicts between the guests increase and Sergeant Trotter comes to inform about the murderer at loose. Even as the guests began fearing each other, one of them is murdered. The second and last act of the play is titled, ‘The Same, Ten Minutes Later’ and in this act the identity of the murderer is revealed after investigations conducted by Sergeant Trotter. The play ends in a weird twist where one finds that Sergeant Trotter himself is the actual murderer. Critique Acting The actors of the play were seasoned actors who have already done acting for many other plays. For this reason, they were quite believable and had the power of conviction towards their roles. The actor, Matt Patton who played the role of Christopher Wren was my favorite. The reason behind this was the way Patton allowed his own distinctive personality to be obvious in the role of Christopher Wren, without affecting the credibility of the character. Patton made quite an impression on the audience despite his small role in the actual play. Another actor worth commenting was Candyce Hinkle who played the role of the passionate Mrs. Boyle. Hinkle developed a good understanding of the character and she induced the spirit in the play that is specially needed for theatre performances. Hinkle brought the required spirit in the play through her intense body language which stole the limelight from the rest of the characters to a certain extent. Also Hinkle was able to perfectly manage the articulation and volume of her script so that her character became more believable as ever. Sergeant Trotter played by Don Bolinger was also one of my favorites. This was because Bolinger was as believable as a sergeant as he was as a murderer. The body language and gestures lend credibility to the actor as a whole. However, there were few actors who failed to give their best to the script. One of them was Eric Harrison who played the role of Major Metcalf. Eric Harrison was not able to develop his distinctive personality in such a short time and remained in the background on account of the acting skills of Mrs. Boyle who overshadowed Major Metcalf. The Design The set of the play is one of the most important aspects of the play. Since the play was written in 1952, the director and set designer had to relate to that time period. They did their best to incorporate a general theme of that era but to a certain extent they failed as modern objects were also placed in the set, including the decoration pieces. One could easy feel that the director placed more importance on the actual acting rather than the set design of the play. The director however was able to use the lights properly to convey the mood of the play. The play required intense dark lights at certain point while at other times a bright halo had to cast such as at
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