Writer: Agatha Christie
Director: Iain Watt-Smith
Reviewer: Kerri Peck[Rating:3.5]
The Mousetrap is famous around the world for being the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre – with almost 25,000 performances it’s a play to be proud of. To celebrate 60 incredible years on stage, it’s going on tour for the first time, with a star cast to give you a once in a life-time opportunity to see this masterpiece here at The Mayflower Theatre.
In her own inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie has created an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner. The touring cast and crew play their parts superbly keeping the institution that audiences have come to expect of an Agatha Christie production alive and well and truly burning.
The beautifully crafted set brings you right into the heart of Wormswell Manor Guest House where we meet married couple Giles (Bruno Langley) and Mollie (Jemma Walker) who are opening the doors of their country house to paying guests for the first time and meet their unusual combination of guests but they have no idea of the events which are about to unfold.
They are joined by a very cranky and opinionated Mrs Boyle (Jan Waters), the mysterious Major Metcalf (Graham Seed) and a modern and strong Miss Casewell (Clare Wilkie). We also have the fantastically eccentric character Christopher Wren, played by Steven France, who gets the crowd laughing by being a very quirky and an extroverted misfit. Yet when it comes to eccentrics, the surprise guest, Mr Paravicini, stands as strong competition. Karl Howman performs this rôle with fantastic timing and charisma, never missing an opportunity to exaggerate Mr Paravicini’s comical European characteristics and there we have an eclectic lineup of murder suspects.
This rather unusual group of people are then confined to the house as they are cut off by the snow. But against the odds Detective Sergeant Trotter (Thomas Howes) arrives at the manor advising the guests and owners of the potential danger they are all in. There is a murderer within their midst but with his protection and police skills he aims to unmask the perpetrator before they can strike again. Who can it be?
One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts with many twists and turns that the audience sits wondering as to whom the murderer could be. Any one of the guests seems to fit the bill until the last moment when we are finally enlightened and the murderer is unmasked. Obviously I would never share that information with you as we have all sworn to secrecy the outcome of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – you will just have to go and see for yourself!
Runs until Saturday 10th November 2012