Murder on the Orient Express - a fresh telling of a classic murder mystery by the Driftwood Players

Friday, September 15, 2023

  • Left to Right: Carol Richmond, Brandon Jepson (standing), Elora Coble, Skye Stafford, David Hayes (standing), Kim Ferse, Brian Harper (standing), Giovanna Cossalter Walters (standing), Karli Reinbold, Thomas A. Glass (standing), Landon Whitbread. 
  • Photo Credit: Dale Sutton of Magic Photography

Murder on the Orient Express runs September 15 to October 8, 2023. Thursdays - Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. 

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed eight times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.

By Kindle Carpp

As we settled into our seats the first set was in the foreground of the stage. I was surprised that it didn’t look much like a train. But the art deco pillars that framed the stage set the time frame before a word was spoken
As the lights dimmed a scene began to play off stage, heard but not seen. Then Hercule Poirot, played by David Hayes, entered from the theatre lobby and up onto the stage.  Addressing the audience, he began to explain the mystery we were about to witness. 
Turning to the set, which I then realized was a restaurant, he transitioned from a narrator to a character. In a dreamlike sequence the cast walked casually on stage and cleared the furniture to the wings. and the story begun in earnest.

  • Left to Right: Kim Ferse, Skye Stafford, Karli Reinbold, Landon Whitbread, Carol Richmond, Elora Coble, David Hayes
  • Photo Credit: Dale Sutton of Magic Photography

The curtains opened on an ingenious set design, built on two double sided sets on casters. It was a simple solution for a limited space. In the background vintage footage ran, showing the view from the train and giving the set depth and perspective. Really very clever!
The experienced cast did an excellent job with a few real stand-out performances. Kim Ferse played Mrs. Helen Hubbard in a way that was both campy and charming. Brian Harper and Sky Stafford embraced their characters but knew how to share the stage to allow their fellow cast members to shine. 

David Hayes (Hercule Poirot)
  • Photo Credit: Dale Sutton of Magic Photography

David Hayes was an excellent casting choice for Hercule Poirot. I found him to be a delight.
A highlight for me was Brandon Jepson’s eyebrows, an inspired bit of levity. Watch for them in the second act.
This is a fresh production with innovative touches throughout.

  • Left to Right: Elora Coble, Carol Richmond, David Hayes, Karli Reinbold, Giovanna Cossalter Walters, Landon Whitbread
  • Photo Credit: Dale Sutton of Magic Photography

Murder on the Orient Express runs September 15 to October 8, 2023. Thursdays - Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. 

TICKETS: $28 General Adults (ages 19-59); $25 Junior/Senior/Military. Available online at or by phone at 425-774-9600. Discounted tickets for groups of 10+ people are also available.

Directed by David Alan Morrison and featuring the acting talents of David Hayes (Hercule Poirot), Brian Harper (Monsieur Bouc), Karli Reinbold (Mary Debenham), Giovanna Cossalter-Walters (Hector MacQueen), Brandon Jepson (Michel the Conductor), Carol Richmond (Princess Dragomiroff), Elora Coble (Greta Ohlsson), Skye Stafford (Countess Andrenyi), Kim Ferse (Helen Hubbard), Landon Whitbread (Colonel Arbuthnot), and Thomas A. Glass (Samuel Ratchett).

The creative team includes Brent Stainer (Lighting Designer), Nancy Johnson (Properties Designer), Chantal Burns (Assistant Properties Designer), Audrey Herold (Costume Designer), Rex Goulding (Master Carpenter/Scenic Designer), Grace Helmcke (Dialect Coach), Joe Knight (Video/Projection Designer), Paul Fleming (Assistant Director), Julie (Bryan) Benner (Stage Manager), Natasha Thompson (Assistant Stage Manager), Topher Wick (Assistant Producer), Bailey Dobbins (Build Supervisor), Brian Fletcher (Technical Director/Producer), and Katie Soulé (Managing Director/Producer).


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