The Rule of Three

by  Agatha Christie

Collection / Anthology, Melodrama  /  7m, 5f

A triple bill of short, contrasting plays comprising Afternoon at the Seaside, The Rats, and The Patient.

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The Rule of Three

by  Agatha Christie

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    7m, 5f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

This triple bill of one act murder mysteries combines: the light hearted comedy Afternoon at the Seaside, in which a detective attempts to find a priceless emerald necklace and the culprit who stole it; The Rats, a dark and chilling tale in which a pair of adulterous lovers find themselves lured to a flat, trapped like rats and framed for murder; and finally, The Patient, a tense thriller in which a woman has been hospitalised after seemingly falling from her balcony. 
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Reviews

REVIEWS 

"Three thrilling dénouements for the price of one." - Daily Telegraph 

“A trio of playlets devoted, like the rest of her work, to whetting ones appetite for retribution.” - Kenneth Tynan, The Observer  

“They are, without exception, the work of an experienced and artful cook, whose interest is to please.”  - Joseph Muddiman, The Times Literary Supplement 

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Afternoon at the Seaside - A summer afternoon at the beach at Little-Slippyng-on-Sea. 
    The Rats - The Michael Torrances' flat in Hampstead - the present.
    The Patient - A private room in a nursing home - the present. 

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

7m, 5f
Afternoon at the Seaside
BOB WHEELER
NOREEN SOMERS
ARTHUR SOMERS
GEORGE CRUM
MRS. CRUM
A MOTHER
A YOUNG MAN
BEACH ATTENDANT
MRS. GUNNER 
PERCY GUNNER
THE BEAUTY
INSPECTOR FOLEY

The Rats
SANDRA GREY
JENNIFER BRICE
DAVID FORRESTER
ALEC HANBURY

The Patient
LANSEN
NURSE
DR. GINSBERG
INSPECTOR CRAY
BRYAN WINGFIELD
EMMELINE ROSS
WILLIAM ROSS
BRENDA JACKSON
THE PATIENT
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Cast Attributes

  • Expandable casting

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Authors

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is the author not only of The Mousetrap, the longest running stage production in history but also Witness for the Prosecutio ...

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The Rule of Three was first presented on tour in the United Kingdom in 1961 and subsequently opened at the Duchess Theatre in the West End in 1962.

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