The mousetrap and other.., p.1
The Mousetrap and Other Plays, page 1
and Other Plays
And Then There Were None
Appointment with Death
Witness for the Prosecution
Go Back for Murder
About the Author
The Agatha Christie Collection
About the Publisher
And Then There Were None
Presented by Bertie Meyer at the St. James’ Theatre, London, on 17th November 1943, with the following cast of characters:
(in the order of their appearance)
Terence de Marney
SIR LAWRENCE WARGRAVE
The play directed by Irene Hentschel
Décor by Clifford Pember
The scene of the play is the living room of the house on Indian Island, off the coast of Devon
An evening in August
SCENE 1 The following morning
SCENE 2 The same day. Afternoon
SCENE 1 The same day. Evening
SCENE 2 The following morning
Time: the present
SCENE: The scene is the living room of the house on Indian Island. It is a very modern room, and luxuriously furnished. It is a bright sunlit evening. Nearly the whole of the back of the stage is a window looking directly out to sea. French doors are open in Centre to balcony. It should give the impression of being like the deck of a liner almost overhanging the sea. There is a chair out Right on the balcony, and the main approach to the house is presumed to be up steps on the Left side of the balcony. There are also presumed to be steps on the Right of the balcony, but these are not the direct way up from the landing stage, but are supposed to lead around the house and up behind it, since the house is supposed to be built against the side of a steep hill. The French doors are wide so that a good area of the balcony is shown.
In the Left, near windows, is a door to dining room. Down stage Left is a door communicating with hall. Pull cord below this door.
Up Right is a door to study. Middle stage Right is fireplace. Over it hangs the reproduction of the “Ten Little Indians” nursery rhyme. On the mantelpiece are a group of ten china Indian figures. They are not spaced out, but clustered so that the exact number is not easily seen.
The room is barely furnished with modern furniture. Centre are two sofas with space between. Chair and small table up Left. Club chair with tabouret Right and above it, down Left, where there is also a bookcase. There is a window seat up Right and cocktail cabinet below mantelpiece. Tabouret down Right. Before fireplace is a big white bearskin rug with a bear’s head. There is an armchair and tabouret Right Centre. A square ottoman at lower end of fireplace. A settee with table Left of it in front of window Right at back.
When Curtain rises, ROGERS is busy putting final touches to room. He is setting out bottles down Right. ROGERS is a competent middle-aged manservant. Not a butler, but a house-parlourman. Quick and deft. Just a trifle specious and shifty. There is a noise of seagulls. Motorboat horn heard off. MRS. ROGERS enters from dining room up Left. She is a thin, worried, frightened-looking woman. Enter NARRACOTT at Centre from Left. He carries a market basket filled with packages.
NARRACOTT. First lot to be arriving in Jim’s boat. Another lot not far behind. (Crosses Left to her.)
MRS. ROGERS. Good evening, Fred.
NARRACOTT. Good evening, Mrs. Rogers.
MRS. ROGERS. Is that the boat?
MRS. ROGERS. Oh, dear, already? Have you remembered everything?
NARRACOTT. (Giving her basket) I think so. Lemons. Slip soles. Cream. Eggs, tomatoes and butter. That’s all, wasn’t it?
MRS. ROGERS. That’s right. So much to do I don’t know where to start. No maids till the morning, and all these guests arriving today.
ROGERS. (At mantel) Calm down, Ethel, everything’s shipshape now. Looks nice, don’t it, Fred?
NARRACOTT. Looks neat enough for me. Kind of bare, but rich folks like places bare, it seems.
MRS. ROGERS. Rich folks is queer.
NARRACOTT. And he was a queer sort of gentleman as built this place. Spent a wicked lot of money on it he did, and then gets tired of it and puts the whole thing up for sale.
MRS. ROGERS. Beats me why the Owens wanted to buy it, living on an island.
ROGERS. Oh, come off it, Ethel, and take all that stuff out into the kitchen. They’ll be here any minute now.
MRS. ROGERS. Making that steep climb an excuse for a drink, I suppose. Like some others I know.
(Motorboat horn heard off.)
NARRACOTT. That be young Jim. I’ll be getting along. There’s two gentlemen arriving by car, I understand. (Goes up to balcony.)
MRS. ROGERS. (Calling to him) I shall want at least five loaves in the morning and eight pints of milk, remember.
(MRS. ROGERS puts basket on floor up Left; exits to hall Left 1.)
ROGERS. (Breaks to Right of window) Don’t forget the oil for the engine, Fred. I ought to charge up tomorrow, or I’ll have the lights running down.
NARRACOTT. (Going off at Left) ’Twas held up on railway. It’s at the station now. I’ll bring it across the first thing tomorrow.
ROGERS. And give a hand with the luggage, will you?
MRS. ROGERS. (Enters with list) I forgot to give you the list of guests, Tom.
ROGERS. Thanks, old girl. (Looks reflectively at list) H’mm, doesn’t look a very classy lot to me. (Refers to list) Miss Claythorne. She’ll probably be the secretary.
MRS. ROGERS. I don’t hold much with secretaries. Worse than hospital nurses, and them giving themselves airs and graces and looking down on the servants.
ROGERS. Oh, stop grousing, Ethel, and cut along to that lovely up-to-date expensive kitchen of yours.
MRS. ROGERS. (Picks up basket; going out Left 2) Too many newfangled gadgets for my fancy!
(Voices of VERA and LOMBARD heard outside. ROGERS stands at Centre doors ready to receive them. He is now the well-trained, deferential manservant. VERA and LOMBARD enter from Left on balcony. She is a good-looking girl of twenty-five. He is an attractive, lean man of thirty-four, well-tanned, with a touch of the adventurer about him. He is already a good deal taken with VERA.)
LOMBARD. (Gazing round room; very interested) So this is it!
ROGERS. Miss Claythorne!
ROGERS. Yes. Good evening, Miss.
VERA. Good evening, Rogers. Will you bring up my luggage and Captain Lombard’s?
ROGERS. Very good, Miss. (He exits through Centre windows to Left.)
VERA. (To LOMBARD; coming Right Centre into room) You’ve been here before?
LOMBARD. No—but I’ve heard a lot about the place.
VERA. From Mr. and Mrs. Owen?
LOMBARD. (Crossing down Left) No, old Johnny Brewer, a pal of mine, built this house—it’s a sad and poignant story.
VERA. A love story?
LOMBARD. Yes, ma’am—the saddest of all. He was a wealthy old boy and fell in love with the famous Lily Logan—married her—bought the island and built this place for her.
VERA. Sounds most romantic.
LOMBARD. Poor Johnny! He thought by cutting her off from the rest of the world—without even a telephone as means of communication—he could hold her.
VERA. But of course the fair Lily tired of her ivory tower—and escaped?
LOMBARD. U’huh. Johnny went back to Wall Street, made a few more millions, and the place was sold.
VERA. And here we are. (Moving as if to go out of door Left I) Well, I ought to find Mrs. Owen. The others will be up in a minute.
LOMBARD. (Stopping her) It would be very rude to leave me here all by myself.
VERA. Would it? Oh, well, I wonder where she is?
LOMBARD. She’ll come along when she’s ready. While we’re waiting (Nodding towards cabinet down Right) do you think I could have a drink? I’m very dry. (Goes below sofa to down Right and starts preparing drinks.)
VERA. Of course you could.
LOMBARD. It’s certainly warm after that steep climb. What’s yours?
VERA. No, thanks, not for me—Not on duty. (To behind chair, Right Centre.)
LOMBARD. A good secretary is never off duty.
VERA. Really. (Looking round room) This is exciting! (Goes below sofa to up Centre.)
VERA. All this. The smell of the sea—the gulls—the beach and this lovely house. I am going to enjoy myself.
LOMBARD. (Smiling. Coming to her) I think you are. I think we both are. (Holding up drink) Here’s to you—you’re very lovely.
(ROGERS enters Centre from Left with two suitcases and comes down Left Centre.)
VERA. (To ROGERS) Where is Mrs. Owen?
ROGERS. Mr. and Mrs. Owen won’t be down from London until tomorrow, Miss. I thought you knew.
ROGERS. I’ve got a list here of the guests expected, Miss, if you would like to have it. The second boat load’s just arriving. (Holds out list.)
VERA. Thank you. (Takes list. ROGERS goes into hall Left 1.) How awful—I say, you will be sweet and help me, won’t you?
LOMBARD. I won’t move from your side.
VERA. Thank you. (She reads list. They BOTH move down Right.) It seems silly to have brought only us in the first boat and all the rest in the second.
LOMBARD. That, I’m afraid, was design, not accident.
VERA. Design? What do you mean?
LOMBARD. I suggested to the boatman that there was no need to wait for any more passengers. That and five shillings soon started up the engine.
VERA. (Laughing) Oh, you shouldn’t have done that!
LOMBARD. Well, they’re not a very exciting lot, are they?
VERA. I thought the young man was rather nice looking.
LOMBARD. Callow. Definitely callow. And very, very young.
VERA. I suppose you think a man in his thirties is more attractive.
LOMBARD. I don’t think, my darling—I know.
(MARSTON enters Centre from Left. Good-looking young man of twenty-three or so. Rich, spoiled—not very intelligent.)
MARSTON. (Coming down Right to them) Wizard place you’ve got here.
(Prepares to greet VERA as his hostess. LOMBARD stands beside her like a host.)
VERA. (Shakes hands) I’m Mrs. Owen’s secretary. Mrs. Owen has been detained in London, I’m afraid, and won’t be down until tomorrow.
MARSTON. (Vaguely) Oh, too bad.
VERA. May I introduce Captain Lombard, Mr.—er—
MARSTON. Marston, Anthony Marston.
LOMBARD. Have a drink?
MARSTON. Oh, thank you.
(BLORE comes up on balcony from Left. Middle-aged, thickset man. Is wearing rather loud clothes and is giving his impression of a South African gold magnate. His eyes dart about; making notes of everything.)
LOMBARD. What will you have? Gin, whisky, sherry—?
MARSTON. Whisky, I think.
(They go down Right to cabinet.)
BLORE. (Comes down to VERA at Right Centre. Seizing VERA’s hand and wringing it heartily) Wonderful place you have here.
VERA. I’m Mrs. Owen’s secretary. Mrs. Owen has been detained in London, I’m afraid, and won’t be down until tomorrow.
LOMBARD. Say when!
MARSTON. Oh, wizard!
BLORE. How are you? (Makes for cocktail cabinet.)
LOMBARD. My name’s Lombard. Have a drink, Mr.—
BLORE. Davis. Davis is the name.
LOMBARD. Mr. Davis—Mr. Marston!
(VERA sits on Right sofa.)
BLORE. How are you, Mr. Marston? Pleased to meet you. Thanks, Mr. Lombard. I don’t mind if I do. Bit of a stiff climb up here. (He goes up Centre to balcony.) But whew! What a view and what a height! Reminds me of South Africa, this place. (Comes down Centre.)
LOMBARD. (Staring at him) Does it? What part?
BLORE. Oh—er—Natal, Durban, you know.
LOMBARD. (Crosses Centre) Really? (Hands him drink)
BLORE. Well, here’s to temperance. Do you—er—know South Africa?
LOMBARD. Me? No.
BLORE. (With renewed confidence) That’s where I come from. That’s my Natal state—ha ha.
LOMBARD. Interesting country, I should think.
BLORE. Finest country in the world, sir. Gold, silver, diamonds, oranges, everything a man could want. Talk about a land flowing with beer and skittles. (Goes to cocktail cabinet down Right).
(GENERAL MACKENZIE arrives on balcony from Left. Upright soldierly old man, with a gentle, tired face.)
MACKENZIE. (Hesitating courteously) Er—How do you do?
(VERA rises; meets him above sofa seat.)
VERA. General MacKenzie, isn’t it? I’m Mrs. Owen’s secretary. Mrs. Owen has been detained in London, I’m afraid, and won’t be down until tomorrow. Can I introduce Captain Lombard—Mr. Marston and Mr.—
(MACKENZIE crosses towards them.)
BLORE. (Approaching him) Davis, Davis is the name. (Shakes hands.)
LOMBARD. Whisky and soda, sir?
MACKENZIE. Er—thanks. (Goes down Right; studies LOMBARD.) You in the service?
LOMBARD. Formerly in the King’s African Rifles. Too tame for me in peacetime. I chucked it.
MACKENZIE. Pity. (As LOMBARD pours out soda) When.
(MISS EMILY BRENT arrives Centre from Left. She is a tall, thin spinster, with a disagreeable, suspicious face.)
EMILY. (Sharply to VERA) Where is Mrs. Owen? (Puts case on Left sofa.)
VERA. Miss Brent, isn’t it? I’m Mrs. Owen’s secretary. Mrs. Owen has been detained in London, I’m afraid.
(LOMBARD to Right of EMILY.)
LOMBARD and VERA. And won’t be down until tomorrow.
(They tail off, rather embarrassed.)
EMILY. Indeed. Extraordinary. Did she miss the train?
VERA. I expect so. Won’t you have something? May I introduce Captain Lombard—General MacKenzie—Mr. Marston. I think you all met on the boat. And Mr.—
BLORE. Davis, Davis is the name. May I take your case? (Up to EMILY, then goes behind her to Right.)
LOMBARD. Do let me give you a drink? A dry Martini? A glass of sherry? Whis
EMILY. (Coldly) I never touch alcohol.
LOMBARD. You never touch alcohol!
EMILY. (She picks up case; goes below sofa to Left) I suppose you know, young man, that you left us standing there on the wharf?
VERA. I’m afraid, Miss Brent, I was to blame for that. I wanted to—
EMILY. It seems to me most extraordinary that Mrs. Owen should not be here to receive her guests.
VERA. (Smiling) Perhaps she’s the kind of person who just can’t help missing trains.
BLORE. (Laughs) That’s what I reckon she is.
EMILY. Not at all. Mrs. Owen isn’t the least like that.
LOMBARD. (Lightly) Perhaps it was her husband’s fault.
EMILY. (Sharply) She hasn’t got a husband. (VERA stares. Enter ROGERS Left 2.) I should like to go to my room.
VERA. Of course. I’ll take you there.
ROGERS. (To VERA) You’ll find Mrs. Rogers upstairs, Miss. She will show you the room.
(Exit VERA and EMILY Left 1. ROGERS exits Left 1. WARGRAVE enters Centre from Left; comes Centre.)
LOMBARD. (Comes forward) I’m afraid our host and hostess haven’t arrived, sir. My name’s Lombard.
WARGRAVE. Mine’s Wargrave. How do you do?
LOMBARD. How do you do? Have a drink, sir?
WARGRAVE. Yes, please. A whisky.
BLORE. (Crosses to WARGRAVE) How are you? Davis, Davis is the name. (LOMBARD gets his drink. Affably to WARGRAVE) I say, wonderful place you’ve got here. Quite unique.
WARGRAVE. As you say—Quite unique.
BLORE. Your drink, sir.
(WARGRAVE puts coat on sofa Left, takes his drink and sits up Left. Watches proceedings from there.)
MARSTON. (To LOMBARD) Old Badger Berkeley rolled up yet?
LOMBARD. Who did you say?
MARSTON. Badger Berkeley. He roped me in for this show. When’s he coming?
LOMBARD. I don’t think he is coming. Nobody of the name of Berkeley.
MARSTON. (Faw drops) The dirty old double-crosser! He’s let me down. Well, it’s a pretty wizard island. Rather a wizard girl, that secretary. She ought to liven things up a bit. I say, old man, what about dressing for dinner if there’s time?
by Agatha Christie / Mystery / Crime / Thriller have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes