Review by Gareth Ekin

In its 70th anniversary tour after debuting in November 1952, the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap, raises its distinctive plush red curtain on the famous residents and guests of Agatha Christie’s Monkswell Guest House.

Monkswell’s owners, the Ralstons, Mollie (Joelle Dyson) and Giles (Laurence Pears) are adjusting to their new venture and welcoming guests into their home for the very first time, a terrible snowstorm doing its level best to disrupt the opening week.

Invited guests, eccentric architect Christopher Wren (Elliot Clay), the fastidious Mrs. Boyle (Gwyneth Strong), the stoical Major Metcalf (Todd Carty) and the well travelled Miss Casewell (Essie Barrow) are joined by the uninvited Mr. Paravicini (Kieran Brown) and lastly Detective Sgt. Trotter (Joseph Reed) who braves the snow to announce that with Monkswell cut-off, all are in immediate danger. The premise is set for a classic whodunnit.

Joelle Dyson and Laurence Pears are a fantastic partnership as the Ralstons, they have a great on-stage chemistry. Todd Carty and Gwyneth Strong are excellent as you would naturally suspect as household names and certainly live up to their billing, with Todd perfectly picking up the stiff-upper-lip Major and Gwyneth’s Mrs. Boyle fussing and offering unwanted opinion. Elliot Clay was brilliant, playing his wonderfully eccentric character with exuberance and picking up a number of laughs on the way.

Keiran Brown’s Paravicini also deservedly raised several laughs, playfully purring his lines along with his character’s distinctive mannerisms and gait. Essie Barrow’s confident Miss Casewell gave an extra dimension to her character and Joseph Reed playing Sgt. Trotter with aplomb, his investigation leaving no stone unturned.

A nod also to the set, remaining unmoved throughout the performance, but its design was fantastic.

The dialogue witty, twisting and turning audiences around each and every possibility until its grand conclusion. The cast have created a production fully deserving of such an important anniversary milestone to such a treasured play.

It’s a classic, it’s Agatha Christie. Whodunnit? Go and find out to be a part of the tradition of ‘The Mousetrap’.

It’s on until 8th April, with matinee’s on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets available here:

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