And Then There Were None play/book comparison (SPOILERS)

TuppenceBeresfordTuppenceBeresford Hertford, United Kingdom

I finished reading this play yesterday. It was very interesting to see all the adaptions Agatha Christie had made in order to adapt it into something more suitable for a theatre audience. For the most part I liked the changes.

The dialogue seemed much snappier - I'd need to check the novel to see how much of the dialogue was in the original novel. It could be that it seemed snappier because there was little description and no inner thoughts but it seemed as though there was more humour and while the characters were still themselves as far as I remembered, they were more strongly defined..

The attraction between Philip Lombard and Vera Claythorne did seem to be hinted at in the book but it seemed much more pronounced in the play. I really liked this as it makes the situation slightly more desperate if some of the characters genuinely liked each other.

Apart from the ten, there was one other character, Narracott, who was in the play. I assume he was there as a possible suspect but his lines didn't seem to add anything dramatically to the play. Maybe I'm wrong.

The books ends with someone reading a letter from the murderer which wouldn't have worked well onstage. For the play this was changed to someone explaining how they did it. I liked the fact in the original novel that the last two characters died without knowing who the murderer was but this wouldn't have been possible in the play so I think under the circumstances, the revelation probably couldn't have been made in a better way. It would have been unsatisfactory if the murderer had told the audience about it instead.

But the actual ending, where it's revealed that the murderer isn't completely successful, was a disappointment. It was actually the ending I was kind of secretly wishing for but if I'm secretly wishing for an ending, all that means is I care enough about the characters to want them to be happy. The important thing is for the ending to be right. But perhaps if I saw it onstage rather than reading it, I'd feel differently. I realy enjoy reading plays but they're really designed to be seen.


  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I also like the play. And, I'm very a big fan of the book.
    At the begining, I thought this book wouldn't work out as a play, but at the end, I really enjoyed it. A. C maked it work. She did the necessary changes and all of them  worked very well and didn't mischaracterize the plot.  I would like to see it onstage. 
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