Mon 27 October to Sat 1 November
Evenings 19.30pm (Matinees Wed & Sat 14.30pm)
Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap has been performed continuously for over 60 years, racking up more than 25,000 performances in UK. It’s the longest running show in British History. The astonishing longevity is testament to the strength of the original script and to audiences that never tire of a well-made who-dunnit. The West End production is touring the country and has a short run in the sumptuous surroundings of Edinburgh’s recently refurbished Kings Theatre and continues this incredible legacy with a robust performance of the classic play in front of a packed house.
The story for those who don’t know it involves an eccentric collection of guests at rural English guesthouse, Monkswell Manor, cut off by snow in a bad storm. There’s been a murder in London and when a connected murder happens in the guesthouse the finger of suspicion falls on 7 of the 8-strong ensemble. The eight, of course, has been murdered. Everyone has their secrets to keep and accusations to make.
The somewhat clichéd, characters (think Cluedo) stay true to the time-tested narrative and the if-it-aint-broke-don’t-fix-it approach, whilst playing safe with the production, ensures it does exactly what the audience paid their money for as we are drawn into the web of intrigue at Giles and Mollie Ralston’s (Henry Luxemburg & Helen Clapp) newly opened guest house. Simple but effective lighting and a believable period set add as much to the production as the solid casting and humorous and twisting script. A well-timed interlude brings us into the 2nd part of the play which ramps up the element of suspense and tension. The devious plot makes you suspect one character then another and keeps the audience guessing until the very end.
As the cast take their bow, they plead with us in time-honoured fashion to not divulge the murderer to anyone outside the theatre so as not to spoil the surprise for future audiences. After 60 years of this I’m going to keep mum. Here’s to another 60 years. FOUR STARS
Reviewer : David McMenemy