Deemed ‘The cleverest murder mystery of the British theatre’ by the Daily Telegraph Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has become the longest running show of any kind in the world. So in this legendary whodunnit once again reaches Nottingham Theatre Royal on tour and we are reminded to keep it a secret just who the murderer is. The Mousetrap runs from 17 – 22 June at Nottingham Theatre Royal including Wednesday and Saturday matinees.
The Mousetrap had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal Nottingham in October 1952 and after playing in Oxford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Birmingham the play opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in 1952. There it remained for twenty-two years when it moved next door to the St Martin’s. So to the story…
The heavy snowfall is continuing outside the isolated Monkswell Manor, a guest house run by two new owners. Five guests both expected and unexpected are welcomed. Then a phone call interrupts the evening’s activities and the police arrive warning the hotel guests that a killer is on the loose. From a reported murder in London the guests are alerted to the fact that there may be more murders on the horizon until the killer is found. It’s all terribly thrilling and part of the fun is trying to work out who the murderer is, who may be murdered and who will survive.
This touring production succeeds beyond measure with its first-class eight strong cast who know precisely when to be comical and when to be deadly serious. The Mousetrap is directed by Gareth Armstrong and offers a very satisfying evening at the theatre. The set is an exact copy of the one at the St Martin’s Theatre in the West End where the show has now been playing for sixty-six years. This current tour began in April 2019 and continues until February 2020 playing at thirty-four venues in total. Catch it if you can.
The excellent cast includes Gwyneth Strong (Mrs Boyle), David Alcock (Mr Paravincini), Geoff Arnold (Sergeant Trotter), Nick Biadon (Mr Ralston), Lewis Chandler (Christopher Wren), John Griffiths (Major Metcalf), Harriet Hare (Mrs Ralston), Saskia Vaincourt-Strallen (Miss Casewell).
The period acting style is spot on and as one would expect there are plenty of red herrings in the plot that mislead and beguile. The accents and attitudes are period perfect and the costumes are superb in recreating the time period. Expect the usual clever suspicious character revelations and to hang on to the last moments until the murderer is finally disclosed. It’s a deadly delight!
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