Review: The Mousetrap

Fancy yourself a detective, in a house of 8 people all with the opportunity and means, when a murder takes place. Can you figure out the culprit before the rhyme is complete?

Review: The Mousetrap

From the River Nile to the Orient Express, we settle in 1952 England inside the Ralston’s guest house where the mystery of The Mousetrap unfolds. This incredible production, taken from the writing of Agatha Christie, is brought to life by a cast of eight exceptional performers who leave you questioning “whodunit” til the very end.

This year marked the 70th anniversary of this play and you could see why it has been much-loved for so long. With its quirky comedic relief carried by the character of Mr Paravicini, played by Steven Elliot, to the emotive outbursts of the married Giles and Mollie Ralston, played by the wonderful Hollie Sullivan and Barnaby Jago. 

The play opens to show an ornate guest house, Monk’s Manor which is owned by the Ralston’s. They are welcoming the arrival of their very first residents while the radio plays in the background telling the details of a sinister murder that recently took place on a nearby farm. The clever use of props throughout the scene was the first detail that hooked me as you were lured into thinking that you already knew who to blame. As the story progresses, we meet an eccentric army major, a spiteful old woman, an unusual traveller and a childish gentleman with the eventual introduction of a detective sergeant. 

There were many moments while watching the play where I felt I had finally solved the mystery but as more details of the character's pasts are revealed a shocking secret is exposed.

While the acting and story are worth crediting, I feel it would be unfair not to mention the remarkable staging of the show. With only one set being used throughout the performance I was dubious that it would feel confined but with masterful secret staircases and constant movement of the cast the house felt alive. From the antique couch to the falling snow outside the window the work of the backstage crew and designers did a wonderful job of transporting me to that cold winter’s night.

The atmosphere inside the theatre was warm and intense with laughter filling the silence as what could be assumed to be an intense and dark play is given a light-hearted twist. Though I thought the comedic references in the show resonated with the older audience more closely I still found it very enjoyable understanding many of them myself.

While I may be retiring my detective career for now, with the show running in Shrewsbury until the 8th of June and the production touring around the country until the 3rd of August, there is still plenty of time for you to grab your tickets. Old or young, I think this is an exciting show for the whole family so grab your friends and family to see if you are able to solve the mystery of The Mousetrap!

Header Image Credit: Matt Crockett

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Amelia Lucas

Amelia Lucas

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1 Comments

  • Dayna Jeynes

    On 21 June 2024, 12:50 Dayna Jeynes commented:

    I'd love to see this!

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