Theatre Royal Concert Hall Nottingham – until Saturday 1st October 2022
Reviewed by Amarjeet Singh
The weather is turning, the snow is falling in droves, Monkswell Manor and its fledging owners are expecting their first ever guests at any moment. Five in total, both expected and unexpected, but all welcome. Reports from London indicate a murderer on the loose, a phone call from the police informs the manor that they are sending someone out as investigations are causing them to suspect Monkswell Manor and its guests could be involved. Everyone is trapped in this guesthouse, they have no means of contacting the outside world, and the murderer is among them. No one is quite what they seem. They all have secrets.
Who will be the next to be murdered and why? Who are the guests and why are they at the manor? Who is the murderer and what is their motive? And here we take the bait to get caught up in this wonderful whodunnit!
You cannot imagine the theatre and not think of The Mousetrap. Penned by the skilled hand and mind of Agatha Christie, the queen of the murder-mystery, The Mousetrap is her most celebrated and accomplished play, loved the world over by audiences and critics alike. It has a skilfully written plot and holds suspense from start to finish, mainly by peppering the performance with truly comedic moments, perfectly timed and brilliantly executed. This gave the play a perfect balance of light and dark. The characters are well fleshed-out, with interesting personalities and back stories, even if told retrospectively, endearing us to them.
The set is simplistic but effective and reflects a Manor, drawing us into Monkswell. Use of lighting adds to the atmosphere, time changes and ambiance. Costumes were in keeping with the 1950s.
Tonight’s performance was superb. It was a wonderful treat to see some of British TVs big hitters from yesteryear, Todd Carty (EastEnders, The Bill) as Major Metcalf, John Altman (EastEnders) as Mr Paravicini and Gwyneth Strong (Only Fools and Horses, EastEnders) as Mrs Boyle. Although it was Elliot Clay as Christopher Wren and Joelle Dyson as Mollie Ralston who really stood out for me. However, the cast as a whole all came together to produce a hugely entertaining performance.
In keeping with tradition, there will be no spoilers, but I urge you to go see this performance of The Mousetrap. It’s fun, it’s exciting and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Have you ever seen such a thing in your life…not yet, but hopefully soon!