|Jarrod Henderson as Philip Lombard and Maggie Bickerstaff as Vera Claythorne|
meet their match in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None
PHOTO by Jim Kelly
It is said that opposites attract, and in the case of Philip Lombard and Vera Claythorne, the magnetism is palpable. In Agatha Christie’s murder mystery And Then There Were None, Lombard and Claythorne are romantically linked from the opening scene. In the Farmington Players production, Jarrod Henderson plays Lombard, a former army captain and adventurer that Jarrod describes as “a cultured man who is not keen to boundaries. At times he’s a flirt but that doesn’t stop him from observing the people in the room. Playing this role has been a true joy. I like how my character is a total badass.” In contrast, Maggie Bickerstaff plays Vera, a dutiful secretary who is never off duty. But Vera is no shrinking violet, and she certainly finds her voice during the drama. As Maggie says, “Vera is very observant and strong-willed, and I absolutely love playing women who aren't afraid to make some noise and stand up for themselves. I think the biggest challenge is just being aware of the stark differences between how women presented and conducted themselves in the 1930s versus how we do so today.”
To prepare for their roles, both actors drew on their own experiences. Like Lombard, Jarrod has sense of adventure, saying, “I love going on adventures to other places. It truly is exciting getting to absorb other cultures and communities. I most often get to do this when I compete in male pageantry across the states.” For Maggie, it was tuning in to Vera’s keen sense of attentiveness: “I think there is something to be said about keeping on your toes. Sometimes the stakes are high and sometimes not so much, but a show like And Then There Were None can really make you aware of the importance of always having your head in the game.”
Both actors have a musical background, but were attracted by the opposite experience that a dark drama offered. Jarrod embraced the challenge of a non-musical role, his first straight play since college, saying, “I wanted to go for it. One can only play the comic relief, token and featured dancer so many times. This character allows me to tap into something new.” Similarly, Maggie majored in vocal performance at Grand Valley State University and has a private voice studio for students. But she has always been a Christie fan: “I grew up watching the PBS Masterpiece Poirot series with my family, so Agatha Christie has always held a place in my heart. When I saw the casting call for one of her most famous murder mysteries, I had to be a part of it! Christie is a master of creating intensity in every moment and audiences will be hooked.”
This is Jarrod’s fifth show at the Farmington Players and he thinks “the storyline is unlike any I’ve seen at the Barn. Laurie Smalis’ direction for the show showcases it to its full potential.” As a Barn newcomer, Maggie says, “the entire cast and production team have been beyond welcoming and kind to me, and I hope to have the opportunity to perform here again!”
And Then There Were None has three remaining sold out performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater from February 23 – 25, but same-day tickets are sometimes available by calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955. The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers.