Theatre: Murder on the Nile by Aquila Theatre
I went in thinking this would be a staged version of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, which is one of my favorite of her books. Well, I was kind of right.
This take on the story is framed by the idea of it being a BBC radio play during the Blitz in London. Because of the air raids, only some of the radio cast manages to make it into the studio, leaving them to scramble to perform all the parts. You'll see from the photo that there are chairs with hats and characters' names attached to each. The three Aquila Theatre Company actors deftly and wittily swapped hats as they put on the show. The result was highly entertaining.
If you've read the book, you'll recognize many of the characters, though some names have been changed. You'll also notice the absence of one Monsieur Hercule Poirot. Many of Poirot's lines from the book, and indeed the onus of solving the murder mystery, have been given to the character of Uncle Ambrose instead. Though I was disappointed not to see Poirot, I found this version quite likable anyway. I think removing the weight of such a well-known character allowed this to be a balanced production in which the keen skills of the three actors were equally highlighted. (Note: Christie removed Poirot from the play when she adapted the book for stage.)
Additionally, the story is punctuated by fun musical numbers.
I brought my 10-year-old son and he also really enjoyed it and had no trouble following the plot. While not suitable for truly young audiences, savvy pre-teens could easily find much to like in this comedy/mystery. Mine came home and asked to borrow some of my books.
On the whole, a very enjoyable evening.