~Submitted by Emily Zhu, BHS class of 2024
Bedford High School’s Performing Arts Department will present its fall play, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12.
Based on Agatha Christie’s original novel of the same name, the show follows the detective Hercule Poirot. While traveling overnight on the infamous Orient Express, one of the passengers is found to be murdered and he must find out which of the other passengers committed the crime. Along the way, Poirot discovers secrets buried among the passengers and this ultimately leads to him discovering which of his suspects was involved in the murder.
Murder on the Orient Express follows the traditional murder mystery format from the 1930s, leaving the audience on their toes to discover who the culprit is. The suspense is heightened by the phenomenal acting from the cast, who all individually create suspicion around their characters.
When asked about their favorite scenes, the cast produced a variety of interesting responses. Multiple actors noted that their favorite scenes are when key plot elements are discovered. Several said their favorite scene is when the body is discovered as well as the final reveal of who committed the crime.
Another interesting favorite scene comes from Christina Kolak, who plays Greta Ohlsson. While personal to her character, her favorite scene is indicative of much of the joyful energy put into the show. She said, “There’s a scene where Greta gets to scream and it’s really fun to get permission to do so on stage!”
Many other actors get to play out similarly fun moments for their characters as they reveal more about their characters to the rest of the passengers on the train (and to the audience).
Overall, the show is, as Koa Foster (the actor for Monsieur Bouc) describes, “pretty darn cool.”
When viewing the rehearsals of the cast, it’s easy to see that they all love the work that they’ve put in for the show, and everyone is excited to perform in November. Quinn Camborde-Turner described the elation within the cast, saying that “I love [the show] and it’s a whole lot of fun!”
Further enhancing the show are the members of the stage crew, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help bring the set, lighting, sound, costumes, and props to life. In order to produce the effect of being on a train on-stage, the crew built a moving train set to evoke the feeling of being on the move.
A junior crew member, Sid Nandakishore, said that he “[feels] really great about the play…My favorite part of the show that the crew has put together so far has been the construction crew’s great job designing the train cars and the sound crew (which I’m in) implementing sound cues as well as designing sound effects for the show.”
Director Katrina Faulstich says, “This production has been a collaborative effort by all the students involved. In addition to the cast members, we have a student assistant director (Carolyn Crews), understudies who have filled in for many roles throughout the process as well as helping in many ways at rehearsals, and a large crew made up of dedicated students who have designed and created a lot of the technical elements you see on stage. Since we only have two adult staff members (myself and Technical Director and Costumer Cate Goetschius), it has been so important that students have taken on design elements and leadership roles. They have all done a great job at this and I am proud to present all of their hard work to an audience!”
Ultimately, despite working on different parts of the show, everyone involved in the production feels elation towards the final product and believes that the performance will be a great one. Healy Weisman, who plays Michel, summarizes the feeling perfectly, stating that “everyone should come see Murder on the Orient Express because it’s going to be just as exciting as the musicals!”
The performances of Murder on the Orient Express will take place at the Bedford High School auditorium from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12, and each performance will begin at 7 p.m. The show will run for approximately two hours and the content in the show is appropriate for middle schoolers and up.
Tickets can be purchased at https://bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets.html.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com.
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, adapted by Ken Ludwig, was originally staged by McCarter Theater Center, Princeton NJ. Emily Mann, Artistic Director; Timothy J. Shields, Managing Director. The Production subsequently transferred to Hartford Stage, Hartford, CT. Darko Tresnjac, Artistic Director, Michael Stotts, Managing Director.