The Mousetrap – Until 29 March 2014

Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for Arts

Review by Janine Pulford

Mum and I felt privileged to be invited to see The Mousetrap at Lighthouse during its first ever UK tour. This vintage drama by Agatha Christie is also the longest running show of any kind in the history of British Theatres having entertained audiences for over 60 years and the tour celebrates its diamond anniversary.

It’s one of those plays you hear about all your life, yet nobody tells you whodunnit.

Trapped by heavy snow at Monkswell Manor, a guesthouse run by Mollie (Joanna Croll) and Giles (Henry Luxemburg), it soon becomes clear that all the guests along with Mollie and Giles could have committed a London murder. Everyone suspects everyone else and throws the blame about trying to prove their innocence to Sergeant Trotter who expertly unravels their lives. In doing so, he unearths flaws in their characters and reasons why each could be the murderer. Then the worst happens and one of them becomes the next victim.

I was confident I would be able to solve the case. With a murder in the house, there would be plenty of clues. But there was one thing I hadn’t bargained on. The Mousetrap is so full of red herrings, I could almost smell fish, and when the twist came at the end, I realised I had missed the biggest clue of all.

The actors without exception gave polished performances and maintained suspense with ease. I particularly enjoyed Christopher Wren (Ryan Saunders) whose edgy behaviour had him well and truly pigeon-holed as the prime suspect. Mr Paravicini (Michael Fenner) from the West End run of The Mousetrap added a mysterious element, which I also enjoyed.

Once the trap was sprung and everything was revealed, the whole audience was asked to keep the identity of the murderer a secret. This is a 60-year-old tradition that I have no intention of spoiling. So if you want to know who dunnit, you will have to go and see The Mousetrap for yourself.


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