The Mousetrap (Birmingham)
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the longest running show in the history of British Theatre. To celebrate the 60th year of the play, for the first time, the production goes on a UK tour.
From the opening of the curtain you are taken back to the post war era and a country house. The set captures the mood of the time and the style of building beautifully. There are multiple doors and the insinuation of secret passages, the perfect venue for a murder.
The residents in the house find themselves cut off by snow. All is well until they discover a murderer with unfinished business is among them. As the play progresses sordid pasts, motives and identities are revealed.
There are solid performances from the entire cast with strong characterisation. Giles Ralston (Bruno Langley) and Mollie Ralston (Jemma Walker) are the naive young couple who have opened their house as a guest house. The over excitable Christopher Wren (Steven France) bounces in contrasting with Major Metcalf (Graham Seed) who is a calming and steady presence in the house. Next is the critical Mrs Boyle (Elizabeth Power) who shares her knowledge even when it isn’t required. The final planned guest is the mysterious and cool Miss Casewell (Clare Wilkie). A snowbound Mr Paravicini (Karl Howman) arrives and draws suspicion and caution when Detective Sergeant Trotter (Bob Saul) enters and announces there is a murderer in the house.
As with all of Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries there are many twists and red herrings which have you guessing until the final reveal. The audience are asked at the curtain call to keep the identity of the murderer a secret. If you want to know the best kept secret, try to get a ticket.
- Annette Nuttall