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    Next weekend, explore the intrigues of Agatha Christie’s classic, And Then There Were None

    British crime fiction may have moved on from old women showing up the police or moustachioed Belgians solving murders, but Agatha Christie’s hold over mystery aficionados is still strong. Tipping their hat to the novelist-playwright is The Madras Players and Crea-Shakthi, who are collaborating for their next production, And Then There Were None. It’s the first time the play is being  staged in the city, and director Tanvi Patel says she was rooting for it all along. “I grew up reading Agatha Christie and this one in particular is a classic. It is creepy and crazy, and just a brilliant play.” It follows 10 people who are enticed to an island under different pretexts, and once there, are killed off one by one.
    Caught in the act
    Featuring stalwarts like PC Ramakrishna and Tehzeeb Katari, along with a younger but experienced cast—Sunandha Ragha-nathan, Vasudev Menon, Sandeep John, Yohan Chacko, Prem Thomas, D Ramachandran, Sharon Krishna Rao and Vidyuth Gargi—Patel says she did not hold auditions because she had already seen them act and knew exactly whom she wanted to play the different characters. At 21, she is the youngest to have directed for The Madras Players, the oldest English theatre group in the country. “Going in, I thought it would be tough to direct such experienced artistes. But right from the start of rehearsals two months ago, they put the fact that I am younger than them completely out of their minds. They even helped me a lot with ideas and suggestions,” confesses the director.
    Setting the mood
    Patel has stuck to the original script that Christie wrote in 1943. “There were talks of Indianising it, but I didn’t want to do that. Most people have read Christie, so there is already a connect there.” she says, adding that she wants to adapt The Birdcage next and also try her hand at scripting political satires.
    September 12-14, from 7.15 pm, at the Museum Theatre. Tickets from Rs.200 – Rs.500. Details: 9381911977
    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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