“Everyone has something to hide”
The appeal of this story is undeniable. Murder on the Orient Express, one of Christie’s most popular works, has enthralled readers for decades. The novel has sold millions of copies since first published in 1934, and has been made into several major motion pictures, a popular television series, a video game, and the stage adaptation by Ken Ludwig which you are about to see.
The story, an ingenious interlocking puzzle of clues, deceptions and red herrings, is engaging from beginning to end; the characters are a delicious gathering of odd types and suspicious sorts whose personalities draw us into the story, making us wonder if they will be the one to commit the murder, that is sure to come — it is after all, a murder mystery — or if they will be the one murdered. The story’s setting, the elegant and exotic Orient Express, with its narrow passageways and claustrophobic compartments, could not be a more fitting place for suspense and intrigue. And what better place for Hercule Poirot, the celebrated Belgian detective, to apply his exceptional deductive abilities in solving a perplexing and troubling crime — one that will challenge his most cherished beliefs in the rule of law and the order it maintains. And one that you too will ponder as you leave the theatre tonight.
It is our hope that you enjoy our production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for you.
John was bestowed the title of Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre at the University of Tennessee upon his retirement. Before joining the UT faculty, he was a Director and the Resident Movement Director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for fifteen seasons. Prior to his residency at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, John was a Director and Movement Director for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival for twelve seasons and served as the Festival’s Artistic Director for five seasons. Directing credits include productions at the Clarence Brown Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, The Acting Company, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and others.