MURRAY — The Playhouse in the Park will be debuting its most recent show of the 2018 season: Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile.” The play is based on Christie’s 1937 novel “Death on the Nile.”
The story centers around Kay Ridgeway, an affluent woman who has led a charmed life. Blessed with beauty, enormous wealth and a new husband, she embarks on a honeymoon voyage down the Nile. Fatal circumstances lie in wait when the idyllic surroundings are shattered by a shocking and brutal murder. Following the murder, a multitude of memorable passengers, all with a reason to kill, are under suspicion for the act. As the tension and claustrophobia builds, a shocking and audacious conspiracy is laid bare.
Don Fleming will be helming the production and said that while the show is a classic “whodunnit,” the show also features its fair share of comic relief.
“The show is about a group of people who are all taking this river cruise, and pretty much all of them have a motive for murder,” Fleming said. “There is a newlywed couple, Kay and Simon Ridgeway. Kay is the richest woman in England and Simon basically doesn’t have two shillings to rub together.”
Fleming said he has been involved with four or five Christie shows, and this is his second time directing one of her works.
“As far as Agatha Christie goes, this one is so funny,” he said. “When I first started reading the script, it was so funny I had to check it a couple times to make sure it really was an Agatha Christie show. Because there are a few characters that are just so funny and so outrageous and just jump out. Each one of her shows has a character that is a little quirky maybe, but this show has three or four characters that are just hilarious, so over the top.”
Fleming said it was somewhat tempting to try and turn the show in a more comedic direction, but his aim will mostly be to capture that notion of suspense and murderous intrigue that her works are known for.
Fleming said the cast for the most recent production features a wide range of talent. One performer hasn’t graced the stage of the Playhouse since the 1990s, while another will be performing for the very first time. Other Playhouse veterans will also be represented in the coming show.
“I think with this show, with some of the characters, you are looking at the lost dream, or a dream of what once was,” Fleming said of how the show fits in the 2018 season’s theme of “Any Dream Will Do.”
“It is a terrific show; Christie is immensely popular and everybody loves her work,” Fleming said. “We have a lot of interest in something like this. Around Halloween time, everybody loves the suspense and the mystery and trying to figure out ‘who done it.’”
The show opens this Friday and will be running for two weeks. For more information visit playhousemurray.org.