THE longest-running play in the world opened at Mayflower Theatre this week, celebrating its 70th-anniversary tour.
The Mousetrap is a British classic, a typical Agatha Christie whodunnit, first staged in 1952 at St. Martin’s Theatre in London where it continues today.
As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a stately countryside guesthouse.
When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover – to their horror – that a killer is in their midst!
From the moment the lights dimmed and the curtain rose, the audience were kept on the edge of their seats, even when the production had to take a short break in the first 20 minutes to allow the staff to deal with a minor medical incident in the dress circle.
The casting in this show is unsurprisingly perfect, and, in honesty, all eight of them deserve a mention.
Elliot Clay is brilliant as the slightly eccentric Christopher Wren, and his comedic timing ensures there are plenty of laughs, along with Kieran Brown, who was hilarious as Mr Paravicini.
The Ralstons are played by Joelle Dyson and Laurence Pears, who bring likeable warmth to their characters, along with Essie Barrow as Miss Casewell, Joseph Reed as Sergeant Trotter, and understudy, Nicholas Maude, who was filling in for Todd Carty as Major Metcalf.
Gwyneth Strong, best known for her role as Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses, plays Mrs Boyle – definitely not an audience favourite, which is testament to her acting skills.
The set, costume, lighting and sound are all superb, but I guess they’ve had plenty of years to tweak it.
The Mousetrap is a glimpse into theatre of the past, and with twist after twist, it’s safe to assume nobody is who they seem.
As an ‘accomplice to the crime’, and in the spirit of Mousetrap, the audience is asked not to reveal who the murderer is when leaving the theatre so as not to spoil the surprise.
Be sure to catch it while you can.
- Mousetrap runs until Saturday (March 4), tickets are available from mayflower.org.uk or 02380 711811.