Agatha Christie’s best-selling mystery dramatically lingers with you long after the curtain comes down on the stage play at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.

Starring Bob Barrett, Andrew Lancel, and Nicola May-Taylor, ten strangers are enticed to a deserted mansion on a remote island off the coast of Devon.

The unknowing guests soon discover they’ve been lured to the island under false pretences, unable to escape its claustrophobic confines when a storm cuts off communication with the mainland.

Slowly but surely, one guest after another is killed in mysterious circumstances – culminating in one of the all-time ‘whodunit,’ performances, with the audience there every step of the way.

Directed by Lucy Bailey, the long-time theatre director finally brings her passion project to the stage after “many years” of trying to bring her interpretation of the story to life.

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Commenting on the story’s popularity, she said: “I think it’s because of our own morbid curiosity about the act of murder.

“We have an appetite for and an attraction to horror – to things that we can’t imagine doing ourselves.

“It’s also a wonderfully crafted plot, so there’s a satisfaction in the brilliance of how she’s (Christie) put this particular story together and how she’s managed to engineer this ‘perfect crime.’”

Though there are various film and television adaptations of And Then There Were None, there’s something about seeing it live in a shared experience that makes it all the more compelling.

It’s a chilling drama – and even if you’ve read the book and know how the story will develop – the play has one of the most jaw dropping endings that can be seen on the stage.

It’s a real body punch that stunned the Mayflower’s opening night audience into silence and made for quite a sombre walk out of the auditorium at the end of the show, yet the cast were rightly greeted with a rapturous applause as they took their bow at the end of a two hour and 30-minute runtime.

It must be said that the performance is not without its comedic moments – notably from Lancel as a peculiar detective: “Davis, my name is Davis!”

And Then There Were None runs at the Mayflower Theatre until Saturday, April 13.