DeKALB – What would you do if an advertisement in the local paper announced the place and time of a future murder?
The answer to that question will come to life when Stage Coach Players presents Agatha Christie’s “A Murder Is Announced” this month. The drama by Leslie Darbon is adapted from Christie’s novel of the same name.
The production, directed by Mandi Sester, is a good old-fashioned murder-mystery featuring one of Christie’s most beloved characters, Miss Marple. Often characterized as an elderly spinster, Miss Marple acts as an amateur consulting detective.
The story begins when an announcement appears in the local paper of the British country village of Chipping Cleghorn. It states the time and place when a murder is to occur. The location of the murder is the house of Letitia Blacklock, called Little Paddocks. Because it is a close-knit village, Miss Blacklock expects guests for that evening, and she prepares for them. As expected, several villagers appear with interest.
As the clock strikes 6:30 p.m., the lights of the house go out. Then a door swings open, revealing a stranger with a blinding flashlight who demands that the guests “Stick ‘em up!” Gunshots are heard, and when the lights return, the stranger lies dead on the floor.
Dora Bunner recognizes him as a Swiss man who worked for a local hotel. What follows is a classic Christie puzzle of mixed motives, concealed identities, a second death and a determined inspector grimly following the case’s twists and turns. Fortunately, Miss Marple is on hand to provide the solution.
Performances for “A Murder is Announced” will be at 7:30 p.m. July 14 to 16 and July 22 to 23, and at 2 p.m. July 17 and July 24.
Tickets cost $15 each or $13 for older adults and those ages 13 and younger. Tickets are on sale through the box office at 815-758-1940 or at stagecoachplayers.com.