Agatha Christie‘s murder mystery play The Mousetrap opened in the West End in 1952 (at St Martin’s Theatre), making it the longest running theatre production in the world. Now it’s finally back on stage after more than a year of unavoidable closure.
For the first eight weeks of the reopening, two rotating casts are being used. At the performance I saw, West End royalty Cassidy Janson (who will soon return to her role in & Juliet) and Danny Mac (who will return to Pretty Woman) played Mr and Mrs Ralston – owners of the newly opening Monkswell Manor Guest House. Bringing stars of the West End’s musical theatre scene in to this production is a brilliant idea as I feel this play has been running for so long, much of the theatre community forget about it or take for granted that it will always be there and so have never seen it. I have been delighted to see people experiencing this show for the first time, having booked to see performers they love.
There is a snow blizzard at Monkswell Manor Guest House, where Mr and Mrs Ralston are about to take in their first guests. But not knowing anything about these people may prove fatal when Police Detective Sergeant Trotter arrives suspecting a murderer may be on the loose. As he questions the guests one by one, people start to be killed and it becomes a game of cat and mouse to find who is the killer among them before they all end up dead.
The casting is sublime for this production. Stand out performers are Cassidy Janson and Danny Mac, who show us that they are brilliant actors who don’t need to hide behind songs to show how talented they are. Alexander Wolfe is joyful to watch, bouncing around the stage playing the overly eccentric Christopher Wren and Susan Penhaligon is brilliant as the never satisfied old battle axe Mrs Boyle.
My seat for this show was in the Upper Circle which had a very good, clear view of the action on stage as the theatre is fairly small and so you never feel too far away from the action. However, those who suffer with vertigo should stay well away from this area as I was very uncomfortable with the height.
The Mousetrap is a wonderful play and despite playing in the West End for almost seventy years, still looks and feels fresh and could easily run for another seventy!
Reviewed by West End Wilma