re: The whole thing is a headscratcher (major spoilers)
Last Edit: JereNYC 08:15 pm EST 11/27/22
Posted by: JereNYC (JereNYC@aol.com) 08:05 pm EST 11/27/22
In reply to: re: The whole thing is a headscratcher (major spoilers) - Delvino 09:57 am EST 11/26/22

I played Christopher many years ago and I remember the actor who played Giles in our production had many of the same issues that you did. He specifically couldn't really find a way to reconcile Giles looking down his nose at Christopher on the assumption that Christopher is a homosexual and then, later in the play, accusing his wife of having an affair with this same character. Either you think he's gay or you think he's sleeping with you wife...pick one, Giles, and stick with it. All of this is just to make the character seem like a factor in the mystery and, as you say, make him a viable suspect. Otherwise, he's just the nice guy husband with no involvement in anything that's going on.

I found the Christopher character to be challenging because Christie introduces a lot of ideas and possibilities about him only to follow through on none of it and leave the character a complete cypher. In the text, he never even appears in the final scene when the killer is unmasked. He just exits at one point and is never heard from again.

The play has plot holes you could drive a train through, so it really has to be played as quickly paced as possible to keep the audience from thinking about anything too hard or for too long.

One other note...in our production the director cast the detective with a female actor and that not only worked, but drew out the suspense in the final scene in ways that we weren't anticipating. Nothing was changed in the text except pronouns.

I remember one funny incident that happened on stage during one of our performances. The actress playing the detective has gathered the entire cast on stage earlier on in the play to speechify, in this case to explain her presence at the inn and give a little back story that will be relevant later on. Well, the actress went up on her lines this particular night at got stuck in a loop and wasn't sure how to get out of it. Now, normally, someone else might've jumped in to help get her back on track, but, in this case, the character is talking about things that none of the rest of the characters should have any knowledge of...so all we could do it is look around the stage at each other with pleading in our eyes hoping that someone else might have a bright idea about what to do to help our poor, hapless castmate. After what seemed like an eternity, the actress pulled herself out of the loop she was in and was able to go forward with where she needed to be and the colletive sigh of relief on the stage was palpable.

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