Review: The Mousetrap
Holding the title for ‘the longest running play in the world’ is a impressive accomplishment — and audience members at Grand Opera House York are in for a treat this week as Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap brings its national tour to York.
The sign of a good murder mystery, in my opinion, is consistently second guessing every element of the performance: every character, each movement and every single carefully scripted line. The Mousetrap did just that, bringing true mystery to the stage and leaving the audience shocked at each new revelation and twist in the story.
The Mousetrap is at the Grand Opera House from Monday 6 to Saturday 11 March.
Set on a snowy winters night, not only was a storm brewing outside but inside the walls of Mollie and Giles Ralston’s new guest house, Monkswell Manor, as they embarked on their first business as a newly married couple.
However, their first day is more eventful then they could have foreseen, as they were soon joined by a plethora of guests — both expected and unexpected, and together they created a menagerie of chaos as they interacted with one another. As the confessions are made and the plot progresses, we start to see characters begin to crack under the pressure, asking the all-important question: ‘who dunnit?’
Christopher Wren (Elliot Clay) the young eccentric architect, bounces along the stage like a disobedient puppy conveying endless energy. There were ripples of laughter around the theatre as he portrayed this character comically throughout the play.
This contrasted especially well with the stern character of Mrs Boyle portrayed by Only Fools and Horses star Gwyneth Strong, and the traditional Major Metcalfe (Nicholas Maude, covering for Eastenders star Todd Carty). Nicholas brought the dominance needed to this role, commanding his way across the stage.
The entire cast of eight were equally fantastic, working together effortlessly to keep the performance feeling fresh despite its long-running achievement.
The set transported us straight to Monkswell Manor with its towering wooden walls and floral furniture, we felt as though we were guests too. Even though the set was stationary throughout, the many exits and doors enabled it to become a maze and only increased the feeling that a game was being played.
Thanks to direction from Ian Talbot and Denise Silvey, the ensemble never felt lost within the space — it was their own playing ground. Considering the age of the show and some of its dated dialogue, it still felt relatable and the jokes still landed well with a audience comprised of all ages — a testament to the actors and creative team who transported us back to the 50s with them.
If you would like to be in on the legendary secret, take a visit to Grand Opera House York this week to see for yourself who dunnit!
The Mousetrap is at the Grand Opera House until Saturday 11 March. Tickets start from £13 and are available here.