Last night The Bloke and I were invited to the Press Night performance of The Mousetrap at the Alexandra Theatre.
The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country guesthouse cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed…
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the longest continuously-running play in history and has broken a whole slew of records, having been performed in London since 1952.
Comprising of just a small cast of eight, each are incredibly talented performers in their own right. Harriet Hare as Mollie Ralston, Nick Biadon as Giles Ralston are the central couple and owners of the new guesthouse, with a wonderful chemistry as a young, newly married couple.
Lewis Chandler delights as the wonderfully camp Christopher Wren – with superb comic timing he keeps the audience guessing as to his motives behind his interactions with the other characters, while providing plenty of laugh out loud moments, which were beautifully done.
Joined by the most recognisable member of the cast – Susan Penhaligon as the snooty and opinionated Mrs Boyle, John Griffiths as Major Metcalf, Saskia Vaigncourt-Strallen as the guarded Miss Caswell, David Alcock as the eccentric and rather sinister Mr Paravicini and Geoff Arnold as the central character SGT Trotter, the actors masterfully command the stage in a classic whodunnit that leaves the audience guessing right until the very end.
As is traditional, the audience were asked at the the end of performance not to reveal the killer to anyone outside of the theatre, as it was a particular dislike of Christie’s that plots of her works were revealed in reviews.
The set is beautiful and an exact copy of the one used at St Martin’s Theatre, but this was – for me at least – the only comparison to the performance that I saw in London several years ago. I actually considerably preferred this version – the pace seemed quicker, the characters a little more comedic and, at times, over-exaggerated. It is certainly worth seeing at least once in a lifetime, and this is the perfect performance to do so.
The Mousetrap will be at The Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 16th November – to purchase your ticket visit here: https://www.atgtickets.com/times/the-mousetrap/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/2019-11-12
Disclaimer: The Bloke and I were given complimentary tickets to the performance, but were under no obligation to provide a positive review.