Calumet Drama Club takes on Agatha Christie mystery

Photo provided by Emma Aho From left, Alexis Aho, Annastiina Kesti, Emilie Jacques, Leah Riutta, Maddie Rajala and Alyssa Helminen rehearse “And Then There Were None,” which premieres at the Calumet Theatre Friday.

CALUMET — The Calumet High School Drama Club is bringing an Agatha Christie classic to the stage.

The group is performing “And Then There Were None” April 13-15 at the Calumet Theatre.

The play takes its name from the final phrase of a nursery rhyme. The original British edition takes it name from the nursery rhyme’s original title, changed later to “Ten Little Indians” or “Ten Little Soldiers.”

The play is set sometime in the late 1930s, when a group of eight people arrive on a small island off the British coast.

After dinner, they hear a message accusing each of them of being a murderer.

“That’s when they start to put together that none of them were really invited by anybody they know,” said Dave Heinz, the club’s adviser.

They also put together that their host’s name, U.N. Owen, is a play on words meaning “unknown.”

The characters begin dying off suspiciously, reflecting the manners of death found in the rhyme. After searching unsuccessfully for their host, the remaining members of the party conclude one of them is the killer.

There are a couple of gunshots, Heinz said, but no gore.

“It’s appropriate for all ages,” he said.

Heinz has been wanting to do an Agatha Christie play for several years. He was part of the Calumet Players’ production of “Mousetrap” several years ago.

It’s also a tribute to Heinz’s daughter, a member of the drama club and a graduating senior.

“She’s been with drama club since the beginning, and she wanted the last play to be a murder mystery,” he said.

The choice of Agatha Christie initially disappointed his daughter, who was hoping for something more modern, he said. But reading it won her over.

It’s a demanding play for cast members, who have many lines to remember. But with about a week to go, the performances and sets were coming together nicely, Heinz said. They were also able to repurpose some items from the Players’ performance of “Treasure Island.”

The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children.