Venue: The Genesian Theatre (Sydney NSW), Aug 25 – Oct 5, 2013
Playwright: Agatha Christie
Director: Nanette Frew
Actors: Michael Barnacoat, Lilianna Komljenovic, Lachlan McNabb, Martin Estridge, Ros Richards
Image by Mark Banks
The power of an Agatha Christie work lies in its intrigue and suspense. The way her tales unfold is eminently captivating and beloved by audiences across generations and continents. The Genesian Theatre’s production of Murder On The Nile tells a witty and compelling story set on a cruise liner in Egypt, with colourful characters that retain their appeal 76 years after inception.
Design elements are basic but charming. The set is evocative of 1930s art deco, and effectively conveys a sense of languid luxury that is romantically nostalgic. Lighting is simple but elegant, never drawing attention upon itself, but efficient in its servitude to the play.
The director and players are mindful that clarity is key in the performance of Christie’s murder mystery. While some actors appear slightly miscast, they are all able to communicate the plot perfectly, so that the drama and tension inherent in the play are actualised on stage to great effect. Michael Barnacoat plays Canon Pennyfather with good commitment and excellent diction, giving crucial lengthy speeches in a manner that is highly engaging. Martin Estridge and Ros Richards are crowd favourites, playing eccentric characters with great aplomb, dominating the funniest moments in the show.
The Genesian has always been reliable in delivering great entertainment, and Murder On The Nile is no exception. Some things never change, and this much loved theatre company is thankfully one of them.