|General MacKenzie (Eric Goldstein) is off his rocker as he loses his grip on reality.|
PHOTO: Jan Cartwright
In Agatha Christie’s murder mystery And Then There Were None, the characters’ discussion often centers on one another’s mental state. To be the murderer, one must have both the “nerve” to do it, and also be “mad” or crazy enough to carry out the deed. Which is kind of a paradox if you think about it. The same brain that is clever enough to plan a murder must be crazy enough to go through with it.
In Farmington Players Barn Theater’s production of And Then There Were None, Eric Goldstein plays retired WWI General John Gordon MacKenzie. Discipline and order is central to his being, and yet, he is clearly losing his grip on his faculties. Eric describes the General as a man who has “lived a long life weighed down by responsibility and the burden of having made decisions that destroyed and saved the lives of thousands of human beings. These include those close to him as well as those wholly unknown. I enjoy his struggle to carry that internally and maintain his dignity.” The General is a paradox: he lives in the past but seems to welcome the “blessed relief” of impending death. Eric believes the “great challenge of this role is to project these internal struggles as they are brought out during the course of the play with face, posture and reaction -- as the path of his arc is not revealed with ongoing dialogue.”
Eric’s legal experience as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Livonia informs his character as he observes how “those who feel their responsibilities often wonder how different things could be if different decisions had been made. We all carry within us the struggles to carry our doubts, ambitions, and regrets, perhaps more and more as our lives move forward in time. My character is weary of the struggle -- I am not.” This is Eric’s debut performance at the Barn, a long-awaited experience: “It is a wonderful house -- and its community truly loves it. The play itself is a quality piece. Round that out by the culture of quality that this theater group exudes. Everyone involved is ‘here to work’ and put on a good show. As this is a well written story, all the better. The audience will be glad they came.”
And Then There Were None has 9 performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater from February 9 - 25. The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.