The Mousetrap at The Alexandra, Birmingham - Review

The Mousetrap at The Alexandra, Birmingham - Review


Posted 2022-11-02 by Andy Colemanfollow

Mon 31 Oct 2022 - Sat 05 Nov 2022

Seeing an Agatha Christie mystery on stage is like reconnecting with an old friend. There's a comforting familiarity about the setting, the plot and the twists and turns of the story. Now celebrating its 70th anniversary, The Mousetrap is a Christie classic and is the longest-running play in the world.

This touring production, which is at Birmingham's Alexandra until November 5, is a nostalgic joy, revelling in the memories of yesteryear. Set in post-war Britain, there are landline telephones instead of mobile phones, printed newspapers rather than digital copies and wireless news bulletins instead of rolling 24-hour television coverage. These elements are essential to the plot which sees seven strangers snowed in at remote countryside guesthouse. News of a murder in London is spreading when a police sergeant arrives, announcing that a killer is in their midst.

Even if you've seen the play before, and know who the killer is, it's fun to see the cast hamming it up and obviously having loads of fun. Every character has secrets, which are gradually revealed during the two hour show.

Three former Eastenders stars are the marquee names. Todd Carty is Major Metcalf, who appears to be something of a blustering buffoon, while John 'Nasty Nick' Altman seems to think he's in panto, overacting as the mysterious Mr Paravicini and being rewarded with plenty of laughs from the appreciative audience. Gwyneth Strong (who we also know from Only Fools and Horses) really goes to town as the grumpy and cantankerous Mrs Boyle.

Despite being a play about murder, there is much humour in The Mousetrap, most of it coming from Elliot Clay as budding young architect Christopher Wren. When he becomes chief suspect, he is strongly defended by guesthouse co-owner Mollie Ralston (played by Joelle Dyson), which causes a rift with her husband, Giles (Laurence Pears). Miss Casewell (played by Essie Barrow) is the final guest, and, like the others, she has many secrets she wants to keep hidden. It's left to Detective Sergeant Trotter (Joseph Reed) to unravel the threads, although he becomes increasingly frustrated by the lack of cooperation from the group who move on and off stage, through a number of different doors, with alarming speed and regularity.

The Mousetrap may appear archaic to the younger generation, but it's essential viewing for lovers of the theatre and theatre history.

Rating: & #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9734 ;

#theatre -reviews
!date 31/10/2022 -- 05/11/2022
70795 - 2023-01-26 01:49:26


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