THE REDEVELOPMENT of the foyer at Malvern seems to be taking forever – this time it was a mystery to find where to park the car or find the theatre entrance.
Signage please Malvern Theatres, we do not all have local knowledge.
Inside it’s still theatrical joy with friendly staff to meet and greet – but outside it’s dark, dingy and a little dangerous with the potholes for us silver haired reviewers.
Having got that off my chest let me say ‘The Mousetrap’ is a play I seem to have avoided – not intentionally, it’s just that whenever I had the chance to see or review it, fate intervened.
Now at last I got to join a packed house on the first night of the Malvern leg of this seventieth anniversary whodunit tour and see what all the fuss is about.
First off you’ll get no spoilers from me! Like the rest of the audience I was sworn to secrecy by the cast at the walkdown.
Hand on heart – keep the faith and let the cat stay in the bag we were told – so careless clues spill the beans and mum’s the word etc.
Oh go on then – the butler didn’t do it – then again there isn’t a butler in it. We do have though excellent performances all round from a totally ‘in the groove’ company.
First out of the (mouse) trap are Laurence Pears and Joelle Dyson as Giles and Mollie Ralston, the owners of their newly inherited ‘Monkswood Guest House’.
One or more of their first guests is a murderer but then again maybe Giles and Mollie are not what – or who – they appear to be. The genius that was Agatha Christie gives us an abundance of Cluedo characters.
That’s Elliot Clay as the slightly barking, young historical building enthusiast Christopher Wren, Gwyneth Strong as the prim and proper (if a bit nervy) widower Mrs Boyle, Todd Carty as Colonel Mustard oops Major Metcalf, Essie Barrow the young feminist, Kieran Brown as the middle eastern ‘man of mystery’ Mr Paravicini and finally Joseph Reed as the stereotypical detective – Det Sgt Trotter.
I mention all of the cast because there is not a cigarette paper between them when it comes to performance. All make the most of the richness of the text that the mistress of literary mystery gives them to work with.
Ian Talbot and Denise Silvey have directed with care and passion. This is an evening of thrills, red herrings, and laughter that keeps you guessing right up the end.
I will probably only go and see ‘The Mousetrap’ once as it could never hold the same excitement a second time now that I am an ’insider’ – but also I don’t think I could ever see it done better than this Adam Spiegel production.
The Mousetrap is at Malvern Theatres until Saturday, February 4. Click here for times, tickets and more information.
Review by Euan Rose
Euan Rose Reviews