Last night I hopped on a train to Birmingham to watch Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. Before I got the invitation from The New Alexandra Theatre to see this one I’ll be honest – I’d never even heard of The Mousetrap, which is surprising considering it’s celebrating it’s 60th anniversary and is based on a seriously classic book. Oops.
For those unaware like me, The Mousetrap is an Agatha Christie classic murder mystery brought to life on stage. We see 5 guests arriving at Monkswell Manor, a newly opened guest house run by Mr and Mrs Ralston on a cold and snowy winters evening. The guests arrive to news on the wireless that there has been a murder nearby and the local police would like to come to the manor to interrogate the guests in connection with this.
Here unravels the gripping, witty and intense murder mystery plot that leaves the audience wondering ‘who done it’ right until the very last scene!
Staging for The Moustrap is grand in the parlour of Monkswell Manor with ornate wooden walls, open fireplaces, stained glass windows and a maze of stairs. The cast sit around on large winged back chairs with a wireless in the corner and an old-fashioned telephone. Snow falls outside the parlour window and the light dims as the night draws on.
It was the outlandish overexaggerated personality of Oliver Gully’s character Christoper Wren that won me over, providing comic relief and a lot of energy to the sombre mystery. The mixture of personalities, unfolding backstories and fantastic suspicious looks throughout really makes The Mousetrap an engaging piece of theatre which I wasn’t quite expecting considering it’s effectively just 8 people talking around a fireplace!
We were on the edge of our seats and at the interval the auditorium bar was rife with conversations trying to guess who the killer was! This one’s well worth a watch even if you don’t think it will be quite your cup of tea. It’s not my usual theatre fare but I thoroughly enjoyed my evening and would definitely recommend heading along before it finishes it’s uk tour! And of-course the secret of The Mousetrap is well and truly safe with me – who done it? You’ll have to watch to find out!