Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production at its London home since breaking the record in 1958 and recently celebrated its 26,000th performance. The 60th Anniversary – and first ever – UK tour of this beloved murder mystery is approaching 1000 performances and has now been seen by nearly 1 million people, having broken box office records in many of its tour venues; now it has arrived in Bristol..
The cast for the 2016 tour includes Anna Andresen (Mollie Ralston), Nick Barclay (Giles Ralston), Tony Boncza (Major Metcalf), Lewis Collier (Sgt Trotter), Gregory Cox (Mr Paravicini), Amy Downham (Miss Casewell) and Oliver Gully (Christopher Wren) who join the previously announced Louise Jameson (Doctor Who, EastEnders, Doc Martin) as Mrs Boyle.
Last night we were lucky enough to attend the opening night of this production; and judging by the packed out audience, we were not the only ones who had been eagerly awaiting it. As the curtain rose, revealing an impressively detailed set, we were introduced to Monkswell Manor, a guesthouse where Mollie and Giles Ralston, the young, newlywed (and new) owners are getting ready to greet their first guests. To say murder is afoot would be an understatement; the play opens with the wireless already recounting news of a murder that has just taken place in London. After another murder takes place in the guesthouse, a police sergeant arrives to begin an investigation. With each of the guests able to account for their whereabouts it is down to the sergeant, and the audience, to deduce who the murderer could be….and why.
The Mousetrap is famed, not only for being the longest running stage production in the world, but also for the secrecy that surrounds the plot and its notorious “twist” at the end; of course in this modern age you can easily find out the plot-twist ahead of time, but where is the fun in that? At the end of each performance the audience is told that they too now are a guardian of the The Mousetrap’s secret, and are implored to keep it so that the play may be enjoyed by countless others. I will be keeping my promise, and so there is no need here for those dreaded words “SPOILER ALERT”.
What I can tell you though is that on Tuesday night we were treated to a slick performance by a very talented cast, and a plot that draws you in until you find audience members huddled together in groups in the interval; each person excitedly stating their prime suspect and the reasoning behind it. Billed as the original “whodunnit” it would be easy to assume that the play would be dark in tone, however this is a story that provides plenty of comic relief and energy from an energetic and accomplished cast.
Book your stay at Monkswell Manor and experience the legacy for yourself.
Tuesday 9th – Saturday 13th August
Evenings at 7.30 pm
Matinees on Wed & Sat at 2.30 pm
Tickets from £16.90
Concessions available at certain performances