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BrumHour saw The Mousetrap at the invite of The Alexandra.
By David Fox twitter.com/DavidFoxTheatre
Spoiler-free review: The Mousetrap 70th Anniversary at The Alexandra
⭐⭐⭐⭐”Wonderfully atmospheric: macabre and melodramatic – a stylish, gripping, and highly recommended production”
Produced by Adam Speigel, directed by Denise Silvey and Ian Talbot O.B.E.
Taking its name from a throwaway line in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the world’s longest-running play and the ultimate whodunnit.
A winter’s evening. A remote country house. Seven strangers snowed in. And a murder! When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover – to their horror – that a killer is in their midst! Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim? Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?
Following its 1952 premiere touring production where it played at The Alexandra here in Birmingham, The Mousetrap opened in the West End where still to this day, it continues its record-breaking engagement at the St Martin’s Theatre having been performed there over 28,500 times, selling over 10 million tickets.
Now celebrating its 70th anniversary of performances ‘The Mousetrap‘ embarks on a nationwide tour, which this week arrives at The Alexandra in central Birmingham.
As the best-selling novelist of all-time Agatha Christie knows how to craft a mystery, keep an audience intrigued, and on the edge of their seats – The Mousetrap proves she is a master of the genre she helped to define, and contains all the very best ingredients of a detective crime drama.
While The Mousetrap boasts a fantastic ensemble cast, it does feature some well-known names: EastEnders legends Todd Carty as Major Metcalf and John Altman as Mr Paravicini (both great performances, particularly Carty as the stuffy and pompous Major) while Only Fools and Horses Casandra, Gwyneth Strong, stars as Mrs Boyle – wonderful to see her playing a prim, proper, and sometimes mean older lady! Among my favourite performances were Joseph Reed who was simply outstanding as Detective Sgt Trotter, and Elliot Clay (wonderfully dandy and foppish) as Christopher Wren.
A huge part of The Mousetrap’s infamy and success is the delightful ending – having uncovered the secrets of the murder, the audience are now complicit in the crime, so the actors step out of character to ask us to keep its secrets and allow others to enjoy the mystery.
In these days of movie spoilers appearing in seconds on Twitter, it is amazing that audiences manage to keep that promise and never reveal the ending of the play. I last saw The Mousetrap over ten years ago – so thankfully I had forgotten ‘whodunnit’ but loved piecing together the clues, and spotting red herrings, and trying to work out what was going on. In this review I will not reveal any secrets, so I urge you to see the production to experience them for yourself!
There is much to enjoy in this production, which is wonderfully atmospheric: macabre and melodramatic The Mousetrap is a stylish, gripping, and highly recommended production. If you enjoy Cluedo, murder mysteries, Agatha Christies’ Poirot or Miss Marple, or just want a great night out at the theatre watching a classic 20th Century play then The Mousetrap is for you!
Wonderfully atmospheric: macabre and melodramatic: The Mousetrap is at The Alexandra 5th November 2022 and is currently on tour until November 2023. See the dates here: mousetrapontour.co.uk. Discover what is coming up at The Alexandra and book tickets using BrumHour’s affiliate link >> HERE <<.