York Grand Opera House – until 25 May 2019
Reviewed by Marcus Richardson
The Mousetrap is the original whodunnit by the famed British crime novelist Agatha Christie. The murder mystery, set at Monkswell Manor, revolves around the Three Blind Mice killer who has already claimed his first victim and has his eyes set on the manor for his next two victims. The couple who owns the manor are the Ralstons a young married couple who have turned their home into a guesthouse. On the opening day of the guesthouse they have four booked guests and a surprise guest, anyone could be guilty of the murder, and Sargent Trotter is part of the police force to find the killer. Can you guess who is the killer, why are all the guests so quiet about their backgrounds, who is going to be the next victim?
The cast made up of eight actors play eight characters, all who could be suspicious and be killed at any moment. The couple played by Nick Biadon and Harriett Hare have only been married for a year and maybe they don’t know every about each other as they think they do. Hare creates a character that we instantly like she comes across very motherly and caring, Biadon’s character on the other hand is still very likeable however a bit more firm and steadfast. Among the guests there is Mrs Boyle, an unlikable woman who is very bitter and cold, played by Gwyneth Strong who does a good job of making sure we find nothing about the character to like. Alongside Mrs Boyle we have the polar opposite, Lewis Chandler plays Christopher Wren, a bubbly and camp character with a childish outlook on life and is at times found annoying. Major Metcalf played by John Griffiths is an older friendly gentleman from the army, willing to help around the Manor and seems the most numeral of all the characters. Miss Casewell is a mysterious Character played by Saskia Vaigncourt-Strallen, she is far from womanly and gentle yet doesn’t come across as too aggressive. The next guest came in from out of a snowstorm, Mr Paravicini played David Alcock, is a frogmen man, who is incredibly bizarre, and finds the whole situation entertaining. The cast does a good job at keeping things secret and only revealing things they want you to see.
I have seen The Mousetrap before, so I knew the story but it was interesting to watch it again with a different cast and see all the clues throughout the play as to who the murderer is. It is a classic show, and has been seen by a fair few people; the audience seemed to be made up of older people and I believe that the older generation would find this style of murder mystery more entertaining. It’s was a good show, I wouldn’t stay I was blown away by the show but I didn’t hate the evening, I was entertained however I could only describe it a pleasant show.