It’s one of Agatha Christie’s most legendary pieces of work and one of its most appealing qualities is that the audience are asked not to divulge its conclusion after leaving the theatre.
Intrigued? Read on for the spoiler. (I’m joking, I wouldn’t do that – my mum would kill me).
Agatha Christie is a phenomenon – apparently by the time she died in 1976, the worldwide sales of her books were exceeded only by the Bible and Shakespeare.
It seems that her work doesn’t just appeal to an older generation, which is what I first presumed, but her plots’ twists and turns appeal to a much younger generation – it seems adventure and murder never grow old, evidenced my friend who literally sat balanced on the edge of her seat for the night.
The Mousetrap is your classic murder mystery – and when I say classic I mean the Cluedo type. There’s a lot of ‘the 1940’s just called’ type voices and fashion choices and as cheesy or unbelievable as a live game of Cluedo sounds, it all actually really works.
The play opens with the murder of a woman and then the action then moves to Monkswell Manor, a recently converted guesthouse run by a young couple. The only clue we have thereafter is that the murderer wears a dark overcoat – cue a gasp from the audience each time somebody enters wearing a dark overcoat.
The low level lighting goes down a treat, as does the insertion of terrifying music every so often. (This music is terrifying by the way and my friend thought it funny to spend a few hours recording herself humming it, only then to send it to me – we’re not friends anymore don’t worry.)
The cast are strong and play these Christie type characters well. Anna Andresen and Nick Barclay make a fine duo, while Gregory Cox offers a little light relief as Mr Paravicini.
It is all slightly cliché but if Agatha Christie or other murder mystery types are your thing, then this would be something I would strongly advise to see. Even if it’s not, I would still catch this piece while you can – its history and legendary status make for an unmissable experience.