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Mousetrap Magic - a 70-year Phenomenon

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, until 18 February.

Review by Margaret Mather.

It’s hard to believe this play was first performed in 1952 and is still going strong. 70 years of Christie magic performed on stage, a truly amazing achievement. The story is one of twists and turns with lots of red herrings scattered around in true whodunit fashion, which keeps you guessing until the end.

Gwyneth Strong (Mrs Boyle) and Todd Carty (Major Metcalf) were indisposed and unable to perform. Understudy Nicholas Maude, played a wonderful Major Metcalf and Judith Rae as Mrs Boyle was outstanding. All the actors were superb with special mention to Elliot Clay, who played Christopher Wren and Kieran Brown, who played Mr Paravicini, a mischievous, piano-playing man of Mediterranean origin.

The action takes place in the lounge of a guest house called Monkswell Manor. The stage set is magnificent. The attention to detail is a delight from chintz covered sofas to carved wood panelling and a roaring fireplace you could almost feel the heat from. With a little imagination, you could be sitting in that very lounge watching it all unfold.

The plot is wickedly simple. A group of strangers find themselves sheltering from the snow in a remote guest house. They find out from the radio that a brutal murder has taken place in London and the killer is on the loose. A policeman manages to ski to where they are staying; saying that he believes one of the guests is the murderer. Sinful secrets emerge as the policeman interrogates each one in turn.

Throughout the play, strains of ‘Three Blind Mice’ drift in and out, and as the nursery rhyme repeats, you realise just how disturbing it is.

I can truly say this is a delightful cosy crime packed full of humour.

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1 Comment

Feb 15, 2023

Went on Monday, absolutely loved it! Always wanted to see it, great to catch it locally instead of London. Cast were brilliant and a good audience too (reflection of the type of play it is, you only go if you love AG). Will definitely see it again one day.

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