FeaturedReviewSouth East

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap- The Theatre Royal, Brighton

Reviewer: Lela Tredwell

Directors: Ian Talbot and Denise Silvey
Reviewer: Lela Tredwell

The world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap comes to Brighton on its 70thanniversary tour.

With such an iconic, genre-defining and long running piece of theatre, it would be easy to assume that there is nothing new The Mousetrap could possibly have to say. However, regardless of the 70 years that have passed, this charming murder mystery is still drawing in packed audiences. The
auditorium is filled to bursting point, a feeling reflected back to us with the set as it squeezes itself onto the stage.

There is much to feast our eyes on with the interior of Monkswell Guest House. It’s the perfect setting for a classic Christie murder, complete with the essential multiple ways to enter and exit. The attention to detail in the set coaxes us in, mirroring the behaviour of the characters as they arrive. The snow falling outside the stained glass window is particularly satisfying to see, as are the snowflakes that settle on the cast as they come and go from the blizzard.

There is no shortage of suspects arriving. Under each dark overcoat, is a character who wears a costume that perfectly suits their nature, and who is played by a familiar and welcome face. Elliot Clay gets joyful whoops from the audience as the cheeky Christopher Wren. Clay really brings the complexities of Wren to life, while also executing beautiful comic timing and an endearing energy.

This is a very strong cast. Mesmerising are Essie Barrow, as Miss Casewell, and Kieran Brown, who tonight plays Mr Paravicini. Todd Carty embodies Major Metcalf perfectly, and Gwyneth Strong gives a brilliant performance as the nit-picking Mrs Boyle, the character we all love to hate.

Desperately attempting to keep all their unusual guests in check, are hapless guest house running newbies the Ralstons, played by Joelle Dyson and Laurence Pears, along with Joseph Reed as Detective Sgt. Trotter.

Agatha Christie fans can’t fail to be delighted with this West End production as they try their hand at their own private sleuthing. Red herrings and false trails galore, this is just what we’ve come to expect from the celebrated writer, well known for her novels that have defined a genre. The joy of the solve-along is very much embodied here. Not only is the murder mystery well-plotted, but also highly entertaining. The staging is really fun and includes fabulous tableaux of our suspects.

If you love a witty tale of murder and intrigue, then this production won’t disappoint. With all the classic tropes of the Christie mystery, it recreates the joy of this genre yet again. To connoisseurs it may feel a little inevitable and despite some fun nods to our present day predicaments it is very much of its time. But it’s a time we love to see again and again. Will we ever get enough of The Mousetrap? There’s no doubt for now, it’s still going strong.

Runs at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, to 29th October.

The Reviews Hub Score

A charming classic,

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button