And Then There Were None quickly became "and then there were a whole bunch."

And Then There Were None quickly became "and then there were a whole bunch."

So many young men and women auditioned for roles in a Grandview Carriage Place Players production of one Agatha Christie play that there were more people than parts.

So, according to John Heisel, founder of the Carriage Place Theatre at the community center on the Northwest Side, the decision was made to switch to another Christie mystery that needed a larger cast.

The result will be performances of Appointment with Death May 12, 14 and 15 in the Van Fleet Theatre in the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave. Curtain times are 7 p.m. May 13 and 14, 2 p.m. May 15.

Tickets at the door cost $5 for adults, $3 for children.

Since 2011, the Grandview Heights Parks and Recreation department has collaborated with Carriage Place Recreation Center to put on plays and musicals.

The cast for the upcoming production ranges in age from 13 to 18, according to Heisel, who works at Carriage Place.

Christie based Appointment with Death, which opened in London March 31, 1945, on an early Hercule Poirot novel, but in adapting it for the stage, she "decided to create a whole different plot to it," Heisel said.

"It has a real plot twist that keeps her audience and readers guessing," he said. "She was quite a writer and quite a clever lady."

"I like it," said 13-year-old Marco Monteto of Clintonville, who plays the French psychiatrist Dr. Gerrard.

"I think it's a really well done play. I like the story, how it's set up. Usually in murder mysteries like this, where everyone's grouped together, the people are being killed off slowly. In this, only one dies and suspicion gets thrown around to everyone."

Characters getting killed off slowly is precisely what happens in And Then There Were None, but that had only about 10 roles, Heisel said. A group from Carriage Place Theatre had seen that play and were anxious to stage it, but Appointment with Death allows more participation, he said.

"They're really having a great time with it," Heisel said of the cast.

"At first, they were disappointed we weren't doing And Then There Were None, but once we got into the murder, so to speak, they have been having a good time with it.

"We've also found a lot of comedy," Heisel said.

"Agatha had a wicked sense of comedy. You have to have comedy to offset the drama, as well. They're natural comedians, some of them."

Elizabeth Bergman, a senior at Grandview Heights High School, is in her fifth Grandview Carriage Place Players production.

She has the role of Sarah King, an English doctor staying at a hotel in Jerusalem shortly after World War II.

"The biggest challenge for this show has been motivating my character," she wrote in an email.

"A lot of times, I'll be onstage overhearing something, and keeping an interest or timing my reactions is very important.

"I also have to take into account that this show takes place in 1945, so the way I walk sit, and react is very different from how we normally act here in the 21st century.

"Add in the fact Sarah is English, and it means a complete change between myself onstage and myself offstage;" King wrote.

"Usually, directors with young people ask actors not to try to do accents ... but I wanted them to try," Heisel said. "We've been experimenting with dialects and accents because they're very important in this play."

"I think the audiences will probably be surprised when they find out who it was who actually committed the murder," Marco said.

"This show really has something that can appeal to everybody," Elizabeth said.

"It is a murder mystery, but there is also comedy, romance and lots of drama. It's three acts, but not too long, and it always keeps you guessing.

"There are so many memorable characters, and just watching everybody try to get whatever it is they want is fascinating. I really hope we can properly surprise everybody when the truth is revealed."