Failing to avoid deception can cost you your life.
Ten strangers, invited to a mansion by an unknown person, find this out the hard way in Possum Point Players' murder-mystery dinner show, "And Then There Were None," opening Friday at Possum Hall. The show is directed by Titia Halfen.
Based on Agatha Christie's famed novel of the same name, the play is set on the secluded fictional Soldier Island, located in Devon, England during the 1930s, a time when women wore gloves year-round and wide-brim hats were wildly fashionable. The 10 houseguests on Soldier Island believe they've been invited for good reasons. However, the mysterious and mad Mr. Owen has lured them to his mansion with honeyed lies. And beneath his sweet speech lay wicked intentions for the strangers, who share more in common than they think.
In some form, they've each caused the death of an innocent person. So Mr. Owen plans to get his own justice by picking them off, one by-one.
He has 10 little solider statues sitting on his fireplace mantle and after a person dies, a solider goes missing.
Characters die according to children's rhymes they find in the house. The first three are as follow: "10 little soldier boys went out to dine; one choked his little self and then there were nine. Eight little soldier boys travelling in Devon; one said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; one chopped himself in half and then there were six."
Mr. Owen knocks off the guests in clever fashion.
"He poisons one," said Halfen, 58, of Prime Hook Beach. "He stabs one in the back. He uses a hypodermic needle with barbiturates in it and overdoses somebody. He has a big bronze bear fall on another person."
One of the houseguests is Dr. Edward George Anderson, who killed a patient when he operated while drunk.
"Because of a horrible [incident] that he tries to pretend was accidental, he has switched to becoming a professional of nervous diseases and that is really the pretense that has brought him [to Soldier Island]," said Dennis McGeady, 66, of Bridgeville. "Mr. Owen, the unknown character here, has asked him to come and take a look at his wife whose health has been failing. He thinks the problem might be her nerves."
Though there are many clouds of death looming over Soldier Island, there's a silvering for actor Mike Williams, playing the bit role of Fred Naracott, a boatman whose job is to transport fuel to the island for its generators.
"This is the first time I've ever had the opening line in a play," beamed Williams, 64, of Georgetown. "So I feel very powerful."
Page 2 of 2 - The delicious meal served during "And Then There Were None" will include chicken paillard, wild rice, gazpacho salad, cream of broccoli and potato soup, lemon-glazed carrots and strawberry shortcake.
IF YOU GO
WHAT 'And Then There Were None' play
WHEN 7:30 p.m., Friday; 7:30 p.m., Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday; show dates run through June 23.
WHERE Possum Hall, 441 Old Laurel Road, Georgetown
COST $45 dinner show; $20 show only
INFO possumpointplayers.org or call 856-4560.