The new show at the Hunters Hill Theatre Company is Vivien Wood’s production of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit ‘The Mousetrap’. Famously this is the play that broke all records in London’s West End, opening at St Martin’s Theatre in 1952 and only closing temporarily in 2020 as a result of the Covid 19 virus.
Molly and Giles Ralston. have set up a new guest house called Monkswell Manor and the play starts with them expecting their first guests. Disconcertingly, a radio in the background announces that a murder has just taken place in central London.
The four booked guests dutifully arrive; the narky Christopher Wren who claims that he is an architect, Mrs Boyle, a critical older woman who spends her time complaining, Major Metcalf, who has recently retired from the army and Miss Casewell, an odd, aloof woman who upsets people by talking about terrible experiences from her childhood. The Ralston’s show them to their rooms without any dramas.
Another unexpected guest rings the bell. His name is Mr Paravicini. He tells them his car has broken down in the massive snowstorm taking place outside. The Ralston’s give him their final available room.
The following afternoon the Ralston’s receive a phone call from the local police station to say that a Detective Trotter is being sent over to investigate a link that has been discovered between the London murder and Monkswell Manor. Humorously, Christie has the Detective arrives on skies, this being the only form of transport by which he could access the Manor.
Dastardly revenge is the motive for the murders that take place in ‘The Mousetrap’. Will this dark spirit destroy everything in its path or will someone be able to put a stop to it?!
Wood’s production builds up the suspense well. A talented ensemble cast comprising Madeleine Dart, Dan Ferris, Nathan Farrow, Lois Marsh, Ross Alexander, Jessica James-Moody, Michael Richmond and George Gleeson keep the audience well entertained with their portrayals of an idiosyncratic group of characters.
Christopher Hamilton’s finely detailed period set and Joanna Simpson’s accurate fifties costumes work well.
Recommended, Vivien Wood’s production of Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ is playing Hunters Hill Town Hall until Sunday December 6, 2020. For performance times visit the troupe’s website.
Featured image: the talented cast of Hunters Hills Theatre Company’s production of ‘The Mousetrap’.