Riverside Community Players Stages Long Lost Mystery
The Riverside Community Players are well known for their regular presentations of plays by the “Queen of Crime”, Agatha Christie. However, their upcoming production of The Secret of Chimneys is more mystifying than usual. This April, Director Phillip Gabriel, who has directed such Players’ favorites such as Intimate Apparel, Lend me a Tenor and The Importance of Being Earnest, helps to bring this lost Christie to life.
“The play, written in 1931, comes with its own real life mystery that surrounds it!” Gabriel shared. What he refers to is the fact that The Secret of Chimneys was Christie’s second play and was based on her novel of the same name, written in 1925. However, save for a few names and plot points, the novel and the play are vastly different. The play itself was scheduled to be produced at The Embassy Theatre in London in the fall of 1930. Four weeks before it opened it was mysteriously replaced by another play, without explanation.
“It was never produced during Christie’s lifetime. In fact, the Agatha Christie Archive didn’t even contain a copy!” Christie herself never again acknowledged the existence of the play version. The exact reason for its abrupt replacement nearly 90 years ago in London remains shrouded in mystery and speculation and may never be known. “What we do know,” said director Phillip Gabriel, “is that Riverside Community Players has the honor of being among the first to produce this recently rediscovered gem.”
What can you expect from Agatha Christie’s The Secret of Chimneys? Why, the unexpected of course! Chimneys plunges the play-goer deep into Christie’s world of old country houses, murder, spies, mistaken identity, stolen diamonds, master thieves, deposed Royalty, and a dash of romance.
The revolves around Anthony Cade, a young drifter who seems to have found more trouble than he bargained for when he agrees to deliver a parcel to an English country estate known as Chimneys. “It’s a murder mystery, spy story, and treasure hunt all packed into two exciting hours. I can’t wait to see audiences discover this new tale for the first time.”
The Secret of Chimneys runs April 5th through April 21st at Riverside Community Players.
Don Hudson as Lord Caterham
Melissa Bracamontes as Lady Eileen
Gina Kraut as Georgina Lomax
Chuck Sims as Monsieur Lemoine
Robert Vaca as Anthony Cade
Sarah Elizabeth Woolsey as Virginia Revel
Bill Becker as Herman Banks
Charlotte McKenzie as Wilhelmina Treadwell
Jason Crewse as Spt. Battle
Nathan San Filippo as Bill Eversleigh
John Shannon as Boris Andrassy