Known originally and for much of its history by a title now so politically incorrect that it is not even alluded to in the programme notes, Agatha Christie's play is almost the definition of a theatrical warhorse.
This is the one in which a whimsical killer lures 10 people with guilty secrets to spend a weekend in the only house on a boat-less island off the Devon coast, then bumps them off one-by-one in accordance with the nursery rhyme now apparently known as Ten Little Soldier Boys.
This production is set in August 1939, to coincide with the publication of the original novel. You can only marvel at the willingness with which members of the middle-class, both young and decrepit, on the brink of the Second World War would pack their bags at the prospect of a free country house weekend at the expense of a complete stranger.
With any well-known whodunit the world is divided into those who know who the murderer is and those who don't. While the latter are obviously going to experience more suspense, is there anything at all to this play beyond a kind of disposable theatrical crossword puzzle?
The director Joe Harmston evidently thinks so, drawing comparisons in his programme note with Jean Paul Sartre's Huis Clos. This seems less far-fetched given the ending, which it turned out I didn't know after all, and is taken from the novel rather than original stage version. It becomes apparent that later versions have softened the moral ambiguities of the original in the interest of audience comfort.
So, more convincingly than with his earlier production of The Unexpected Guest, Harmston does succeed in making something of a case for Christie as a somewhat deeper writer than she is often given credit for.
With its early 20th century social mores trapped like flies in aspic (one careless racist remark brought gasps from the audience), and vivid, well-judged performances from the likes of Gerald Harper, Mark Wynter and Denis Lill, it's a rather more interesting evening than Christie sceptics might expect.
* Running time: Two hours, 15 minutes. Until Saturday.