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Print Version
Photo: James Morgan
Photo: James Morgan
by Agatha Christie
Produced in New Zealand by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick in association with Adrian Barnes and by arrangement with Mousetrap Productions Ltd London

at St James Theatre, Wellington
From 15 Nov 2012 to 24 Nov 2012

Reviewed by Lynn Freeman, 21 Nov 2012
originally published in Capital Times

So this is what all the fuss has been about for 60 years? Perhaps my expectations were unreasonably high having waited so long to see this Agatha Christie classic that's been a West End staple. Or may it's just not a great play that hasn't stood the test of time, performed by actors who've played the one dimensional stereotypical roles for just too long to have any joy left in performing it.

There were a lot of yawns and people nodding off on Friday night, myself included.

We are also effectively sworn to secrecy at the end of the show, answering one of the questions I had on entering the St James.

How has the whodunnit's big secret survived six decades? Apart from the fact I figured it out well before the big reveal, by the time the mystery was solved, I was well past caring.

The frustrations I had with the production were compounded by the knowledge that this overseas production's run may well fill the St James with people prepared to pay a premium to see it. But having just spent some time revisiting this year's homegrown theatre productions for the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards nominations, it's heartbreaking that so much great work often attracted such small audiences.

It used to be that New Zealanders would pay to see clapped out European ballet dancers in lackluster productions rather than supporting the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company. That's changed and hopefully our theatre will see the same kind of thing in the future, because apart from the flash set, and a couple of ok performances, this production was dull, expensive and forgettable. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.

See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post);


Steven Land posted 25 Jan 2013, 12:47 PM

What a pathetic review. It was brilliant.