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Review of The Mousetrap at Princess Theatre Torquay

The Mousetrap Cast - Photo by Johann Persson
The Mousetrap Cast – Photo by Johann Persson

Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap is full of suspense, humour, wit and thrills which keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to end.

Set in the Great Hall of the recently renovated, Monkswell Manor guest house, 7 guests come to stay, unaware of what twists and turns they’ll soon have to face. In true Christie tradition, we’re introduced to each character one at a time, to learn of subtle hints of possible suspects and several red herrings to throw us off of the scent.

The relationships between the characters really adds great depth to the plot, as these ‘stock character types’ who would be unlikely to cross paths in society, are sharing a house which tests their character and morals . With scenes often between 2 characters, it really gives us time to learn about their pasts. You are constantly piecing information together and Agatha Christie really allows you to play detective in this murder mystery.

The Great Hall is homely yet haunted. This allows us to feel welcomed into the Ralston Guest House, while feeling unnerved by its ghostly and lonely appearance, which complements the genre of the play wonderfully and really sets up the world we’re soon to step into.

While there were stand-out performances, it was a fine example of ensemble theatre. The cast complemented each other perfectly , as they were constantly bouncing off of one and another and drove the energy of the performance throughout. This production really highlighted the comedy of Agatha Christie, whilst still lending itself to the darker moments of the play.

A special mention must be given to Lewis Chandler and his portrayal of Christopher Wren. His performance was executed with so much character, he had the audience in the palm of his hand and delivered the humour of Wren so perfectly. Congratulations Lewis.

Susan Penhaligon’s Mrs Boyle was also full of character. She portrayed the character’s stern side in such a way that we all fell in love with her and couldn’t help but laugh at her outrageous statements. It was charming to experience.

David Alcock also portrayed a fairly allusive character incredibly well. Alcock was so attentive of the audience and struck the balance between comedy and drama excellently.

This evening’s performance was understudied by Nick Wyschna and Edith Kirkwood. They both fitted into the production seamlessly and gave their characters much gusto. Kirkwood in particular had a great presence and gravitas about her which was very watchable.

Furthermore, The Mousetrap is a true thrill to experience. Having been established in London’s West End since 1952, there’s a reason this play is living on 67 years later. It’s a ‘killer’ of a play and a fine example of Agatha Christie’s work. This cast executes the play with so much life, you’re hanging on to the very end to find out ‘who done it’.

Congratulations to the entire cast.

4 stars

Review by Daniel Chambers

Discover why Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has kept people guessing for so long, becoming the longest-running show of any kind in the history of theatre. The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be?
One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed. Experience shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner.
Susan Penhaligon (Bouquet of Barded Wire, A Fine Romance, Emmerdale) joins the UK tour of Agatha Christie’s recording-breaking murder mystery The Mousetrap as Mrs. Boyle.

The Mousetrap
Booking to 14th September at the Princess Theatre, Torquay

Interview with Susan Penhaligon – The Mousetrap UK Tour

Monday 16 – Saturday 21 September 2019
DARTFORD ORCHARD THEATRE
https://orchardtheatre.co.uk/
01322 220 000

Monday 23 – Saturday 28 September 2019
EASTBOURNE DEVONSHIRE PARK THEATRE
https://www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk/venue/devonshire-park-theatre
01323 412 000

Monday 30 September – Saturday 5 October 2019
NEW THEATRE, CARDIFF
www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk/
02920 878 889

Monday 7 – Saturday 12 October 2019
POMEGRANATE THEATRE, CHESTERFIELD
https://www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/
01246 345 222

Monday 14 – Saturday 19 October 2019
KINGS THEATRE, PORTSMOUTH
https://kingsportsmouth.co.uk/
023 9282 8282

Monday 21- Saturday 26 October 2019
WINDSOR THEATRE ROYAL
www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk
01753 853 888

Monday 28 October – Saturday 2 November 2019
GLASGOW THEATRE ROYAL
0844 871 7647

Monday 4 – Saturday 9 November 2019
NEW THEATRE, PETERBOROUGH
www.newtheatre-peterborough.com/
01733 852 992

Monday 11 – Saturday 16 November 2019
THE ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM
0844 871 3011

Monday 16th – Saturday 21st March 2020
Aylesbury Theatre

Monday 13th July – Saturday 18th July 2010
Manchester Opera House

West End:
THE MOUSETRAP
St Martin’s Theatre
West St, London WC2H 9NZ

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