Abbey Players Present "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

March 21, 2017

By Chip Underhill

The audience takes over the show at The Mystery of Edwin Drood by the Abbey Players of Saint Anselm College from March 24-26, March 31 and April 1, 2017. An unfinished work by Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood has no ending as set by the author, who died before his novel could be completed. In an entertaining twist, The Abbey Players will call on the audience at each performance to determine key plot points in this rollicking musical adaptation.

With Edwin Drood, explains Joel Mercier, stage director, the audience each evening will select several characters: the murderer, the mysterious detective, and the two lovers. "There are over a hundred possible ending combinations depending on how the audience votes." says Mercier. "The fun continues with ongoing witty commentary by 'the Chairman,' head of the acting troupe."

"As director," says Mercier, "it has been a challenge to create each unique and interesting ending while staying cohesive. The cast has a lot to remember. Everyone must be on their game to make the appropriate changes each night based on the audience's decisions."

Mercier says another challenge has been helping the Abbey Players students cultivate the British world in which the musical is set. "You have Dickens' dark and seedy London with shady and mysterious characters," he says. "You also have a bright comic world with singing, dancing, British humor and stereotypical characters. We're melding both worlds to make the musical dark and mysterious yet fun and humorous."

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a unique "choose your own adventure" musical that is not often performed in New Hampshire," notes Mercier. "The Abbey Players are excited to bring the show to greater Manchester and the college community."

The Abbey Players perform The Mystery of Edwin Drood in the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m.; and Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased on-campus at The Dana Center or on-line at Tickets are $13.00 and $15.00 plus applicable fees, with Saint Anselm College student seating at $6.00.