Auditions for Murder on the Nile – our new year production are on next week 23rd and 25th October at the Church Hall Monastery Gardens at 7.30 – we’d love to see you there.
Here is a link to the auction pieces to be used at the audition – with character descriptions below
In the meantime – here are the thoughts of our esteemed Director Sir Granville Rush !
Well here we are again at the start of another Water lane extravaganza at Rhodes. Although this time, by way of a very much needed change or more truthfully because we had run out of ideas, diverting away from our recent trend for 70s and 80s sit-coms towards the intellectual and highbrow deep dramas from the feathery quill of Agatha Christie. – I think not! – At least it will be Agatha Christie and will be great fun to do and more importantly it will put posteriors on the plush pads of Rhodes.
The popularity of Agatha Christie, more than any other crime writer, lies less in the drama and more in the literary, and more recently visual, “crossword” plots she creates. We are by nature and evolution an animal of instinctive enquiry striving to fathom the complicated and resolve the puzzle. Christie vitalises this instinct by the simplicity of her writing allowing us a lot of room for the imagination. She provides just enough information as impetus for the brain to begin it’s imaginative work with scenery, characters, clever misdirection, subverting what we take for granted and above all with brilliant who-done-it solutions. Her books may not be Intellectual and highbrow, but she is certainly a great storyteller.
Let’s now get back to ”Murder on the Nile” which should not be confused with “Death on the Nile” as I will explain.
The play was based on her 1937 novel “Death on the Nile” ironically starting life as a play itself which she called “Moon on the Nile”. In 1942 an actor friend persuaded Christie to resurrect the play version in order for him to take on the role of Hercule Poirot. However, she was getting very tired of her little irritating Belgian detective and so exclude Poirot from the drama altogether in favour of a new character, Canon Ambrose Pennefather. The play opened in Dundee under yet another name “Hidden Horizon” and eventually at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End in March 1946 as “Murder on the Nile”. Still with me?
At this point I must say that her decision to eliminate Poirot from the plot is a godsend for any director. Trying to find a short fat pompous French accented actor amongst Water Lane’s finest is almost impossible! – Answers on a postcard (but don’t send them to me).
So now to the plot!
Murder on the Nile – The synopsis Simon Mostyn and his wealthy socialite wife Kay find themselves being pursued on their honeymoon by Jacqueline, the ex-fiance of the newly wedded groom. Also on board are a mysterious cynical man, a mid European doctor, a pompous upper class woman and her quiet plain niece. Tragedy strikes and a body is discovered, all fingers point to Jacqueline. However, everything is not what it seems and holidaying cleric Canon Pennefather, Kay’s godfather, is drawn into a web of intrigue anddeceit as he finds himself on the trail of a ruthless murderer. Murder on the Nile has a host of colourful characters and all the twists and turns of a classic Christie thriller to keep you guessing to the final shattering climax
Canon Ambrose Pennefather (M) – 50s/60s, clergyman, , – Kay’s uncle/godfather.
Kay Ridgeway-Mostyn (F) – 30S/40S+, attractive, assured and used to her own way “supposedly” the richest woman in England.
Simon Mostyn (M) – 35/40S+ (could be 40s+), attractive boyish charmer, shallow – Kay’s husband.
Jacqueline de Severac (F) – 30/40S, dark and vivacious, Kay’s ex-best friend and Simon’s ex-fiancée.
Helen Ffoliot-Ffoulkes (F) – 50s/70s, a wealthy autocratic snob
Christina Grant (F) – 20/35+, sweet natured and even tempered – Miss Ffoliot- Ffoulkes’ niece
William Smith (M) – 30S/50s, revolutionary with communist outlook, underneath a well educated titled man.
Dr. Bessner (M) – 40S/50s+, rather stout doctor with a thick middle- European accent – from a country which Kay’s father ruined.
Louise (F) – 20s/40s+, (could be younger or older) French accented- Kay’s maid
Cpt. McNaught (M) – 40S/60S The Lotus’s captain
Steward (M) – 20s/40s+ Egyptian, speaks broken English