Skis! A hatbox! A nursery rhyme! Are these red herrings, or are they clues to murder at the Monkswell Manor Guest House? Bellingham Theatre Guild director Dee Dee O’Conner, when giving her house manager talk at a preview of this engrossing play by Agatha Christie, wore a t-shirt with the words “Suspect Everyone!” on the back. And indeed, everyone at the manor house (including the host and hostess) are, as one character says, “either odd or unpleasant.” Dee Dee, fortunately, set the show in its original 1952 time period near London, and propmaster Jeff Eastman added great touches, including a Life magazine with a photo of the newly coronated Queen Elizabeth, and even a Punch magazine. And adding to the suspense, there are no cell phones, no internet, no instant newsfeed (just a copy of yesterday’s newspaper.) Also, this is certainly not an AirBNB, where hosts and guests can do reference checks on each other.
And, as is tradition, audience members are asked not to reveal the end of the play when they leave the theater.
The play opens Friday, Sept. 22, and runs through Oct. 8 at the guild playhouse, 1600 H St. One word of warning: there are a few bits that may be scary to kids younger than 12. For tickets, go to bellinghamtheatreguild.com or call 360-733-1811.