Murder on the Nile by Upper Dublin High School in Maple Glen, PA
November 15, 2018
Review submitted by Charlotte Relyea of Interboro High School
Nine passengers, two murders, and one boat. This nightmarish combination was brought to life admirably in Upper Dublin High School’s production of Murder on the Nile.
One of Agatha Christie’s classic who-dunnits, Murder on the Nile is a story about a honeymooning couple who board a cruise ship along with seven other passengers. One passenger just happens to be the ex-lover of one of the two newlyweds, and this begets some very choppy waters. When a murder takes place on the ship, those who remain alive are left to put the puzzle pieces together, while also avoiding becoming the next victim of murder.
Upper Dublin High School’s production of Murder on the Nile was captivating and intense. The tension between the characters started out somewhat low, but grew successfully as issues arose on the ship that disrupted the once smooth sailing.
The talent of the cast was very evident with this show as they carried the mystery along and left the audience on the edge of their seats. Some honorable mentions are Hana Yolacan, who brought a devilish charm to the seemingly emotionally damaged Jacqueline De Severac, and Ben Helzner who gave level-headed vigor to the observant Canon Pennefather.
A few other lively characters were that of Bailey Rifkin, who brought a comical imperativeness to the ostentatious Miss Ffoliot-Ffoulkes, May Holm, who auspiciously displayed the strong feelings of the foreign Dr. Bessner, and Katie Gidley, who swimmingly portrayed the French maid, Louise.
Sound board operator Sam Spirt and Ben Fischer’s light crew truly helped to change the mood of the room at different points in the play, changing the lighting at high points of tension and adding sound effects to engage the audience as much as possible. Additionally, Lizzy O’Connell’s prop crew and Elyse Gonzales’ and Sam Burns’ costume crew transported the audience back to the 1940’s with their abundant use of time period appropriate props and beautiful vintage costumes.
Upper Dublin High School’s production of Murder on the Nile was a suspenseful and intriguing experience that both mystified and delighted the audience.
Review submitted by Liam McCaffrey of Interboro High School
It usually is fun to try and speculate “whodunit” in a mystery, looking for clues and trying to figure out the answer before it is revealed. However, in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile, it seems more frustrating as it appears feasible that it could have been anyone.
Upper Dublin High School’s production was a fantastic portrayal of the nine passengers, some who are familiar with each other, on a boat trip down the Nile River upon the Lotus. Tensions begin to rise soon resulting in the murder of one of the guests. Those remaining begin pointing fingers and attempt to sleuth out “whodunit”.
This performance revolved around the well-developed characters that progressed the plot and underwent various internal struggles. Every member of the cast contributed to the diverse ensemble of the passengers through multiple European accents.
Ben Helzner portrayed Canon Pennefather remarkably, emphasizing the detective nature of him to its fullest extent. He fulfilled the role excellently in the aspect of him being the most grounded character holding everything together. Hana Yolacan as Jacqueline De Severac did an amazing job at truly revealing the internal struggles her character was handling with her expressive emotional shifts.
Among this daunting mystery were the comical highlights of Bailey Rifkin as Miss Ffoliot-Ffoulkes. Through her ostentatious personality she brought a lightheartedness to the scene making her a stand-out character that everyone was drawn to. Justin Zitelli as Simon Mostyn was able to strengthen the drama aspect through the abrupt physical and mental pain that his character faced during the entirety of the second act.
Ben Fischer deserves much applause for his ability to affect the mood of the stage and continuously move the story along with his use of lighting. A stand-out moment was the use of the quick dimming of lights to near darkness in high areas of tension that aided the build-up and burst of tension.
Upper Dublin High School’s production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile will have the viewer pointing fingers at every unique character and being astounded once it is revealed who did it.