REVIEW: The Mousetrap (St Martins Theatre)
The Mousetrap is the worlds longest running theatre production, having been playing for almost sixty-four years in London’s West End. A murder mystery ‘who dunnit’ crime thriller written by the legendary crime novelist Agatha Christie, which premiered in London in 1952. The original terms of the play state that the film rights can not be sold until after the play has been closed in the West End for more than six months. Some eager film producers have been waiting a very long time!
Mollie and Giles have been married for a year and tonight they open their home as a guest house to the public. They already have several bookings and tonight looks set to be a busy one. But before the guests arrive, a radio broadcast sends news that a killer is on the loose in the area. A policeman arrives to interrogate the guests, suggesting that someone among them may be the killer and will kill again before the night is through if they don’t discover who it is. But it appears more than one guest has secrets they don’t want revealed. Will they sacrifice their lives or come clean about who they really are, before its too late!
Eddie Eyre leads the cast as Detective-Sergeant Trotter. With his good looks and stern manner, I doubt many people would turn him away if he came knocking at the door! Emma Deegan and Rob Heanley work well together as Mr and Mrs Ralston, the guesthouse owners, although Robs portrayal of Giles felt a little wooden at times. Timothy O’Hara kept the audience guessing from the get-go with his slightly unhinged character Christopher Wren, who could easily be taken for the murderer (but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it?). Jocasta King was brilliant as Miss Casewell, keeping her cards close to her chest at all times and giving very little away. Eunice Roberts (Mrs Boyle). Laurence Kennedy (Major Metcalfe) and Philip Cox (Mr Paravicini) completed the cast but their parts were not initially very exciting to me.
With a murder-mystery play, the audience is heavily invested in looking for clues as to who the killer might be. There were a few things that I picked up on that didn’t seem to be fully acknowledged and explained by the ending which was a shame but the pieces were easy enough to put together as so it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The Mousetrap is a brilliant play with some great acting and it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. Even if you think you have it all figured out at the interval, you will be wondering if you’re right until the very end. But as the actors ask at the end of the performance, you have to keep the secret of who dunnit to yourself, forevermore.
Reviewed by West End Wilma