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10:09am Thursday 30th January 2014 in Entertainments
AGATHA Christie’s murder mystery is an iconic piece of theatre and is still going strong in its 60th year, as the packed theatre at Salisbury Playhouse on Monday night proved.
The Mousetrap is set in the lounge of Monkswell Guesthouse, newly opened by Mollie and Giles Ralston who are welcoming their first guests as they get snowed in and discover a murderer is in their midst.
It is a classic whodunit story as each of the guests, and the owners, seem to be hiding something. Listening in on other audience members’ conversations in the interval, it was nice to hear that everyone was captivated as we were, and had their thoughts on who the murderer might be.
All the characters are wonderfully brought to life, making for some great comic moments as personalities clash, and the story moves along at a quick pace.
Most of the lighter moments are provided by Michael Fenner as Mr Paravicini, the unexpected foreign guest, and Ryan Saunders as the enthusiastic and almost manic Christopher Wren. All the actors fill their roles perfectly, giving nothing away, yet hinting at more than we are being told.
The set is fantastic, perfectly creating the feel of a grand old manor with many doors and passages through which murderers can slip in and out.
Yes, The Mousetrap may be a little old-fashioned but it has stood the test of time well and is still a play that every theatregoer should see at some point.
At the end, as with every performance of this show, the actors ask us not to spoil the surprise for other theatregoers by revealing the murderer to anyone. It’s wonderful that 60 years down the line, this verbal contract is still upheld – theatregoers continue to keep the secret, and the legend lives on.
* The Mousetrap at Salisbury Playhouse is sold-out. For other upcoming shows go to salisburyplayhouse.com.
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