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Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap is a classic whodunnit mystery which has been popular with theatre goers for a long time and is the world's longest running play, running for over 70 years. It initially started out as a short radio play back in 1947, the play first toured the UK in 1952 and following the tour it opened in London's West End at the Ambassador's Theatre in November 1952. In March 1974 the play transferred to the St. Martins Theatre where it still plays to this day. To celebrate the plays 70th anniversary it is touring to over 70 venues and visiting all the cities which the original tour visited. I was kindly invited to review the show at its stop at the Lowry in Salford, at the end of the show the audience were asked to keep the secret and not tell whodunnit so that it is not spoilt for new audiences, so there will be no spoilers given away in this review.

The mousetrap 70th anniversary tour production photo

The Mousetrap is set in the 1950's in a remote guesthouse called Monkswell Manor, the manor is run by newlyweds Giles and Mollie Ralsten who inherited it and recently turned it into a guest house. We are first introduced to the couple on a day when there is a snowstorm brewing outside, just before their first lot of gusts arrive. We hear news on the radio that there is a murderer on the loose and soon after all the guesthouse guests have arrived a Police Sergeant Trotter arrives at the with information that suggests the killer could be amongst the people residing at the guesthouse. There are five guests staying at the guest house these include Christopher Wren an energetic young architect who enjoys whistling nursery rhymes, the opinionated and irritable Mrs Boyle, Major Metcalf a retired army Major, Miss Casewell a clever young businesswoman who has been living abroad for several years. Then we have Mr Paravicini an unexpected gust who crashed his car in the snowstorm and came to the guesthouse to seek shelter from the storm. So the question is Whodunnit is it one of the gusts or could it be hosts Mr or Mrs Ralsten, you will have to buy a ticket to find out.

The mousetrap 70th anniversary tour production photo

the play all takes place in one room, the drawing room at Monkswell Manor, this adds an air of mystery as we never get to see what the characters are up to once they leave the drawing room.

The play has a static set which depicts Monkswell Manor's drawing room, it is very detailed and in keeping with the time in which the play is set. There is wooden panelling on the wall's a large ornate fireplace with a flickering log fire, several large paintings on the walls and a few chairs and a sofa for the guests to sit on. There is also a small table with a wireless radio and a telephone on it. The set includes several entrance/exit points so you never know where the characters are going to enter or exit from, this can create misdirection as the actors quickly manoeuvrer between these entrance/exit point meaning we not always be focused on the character we need to be.

The mousetrap 70th anniversary tour production photo

The lighting design by Sonic Harrison worked well in helping to create a tense atmosphere with the dimming and flickering of lights as well as some total blackouts.

The entire cast were excellent, and all delivered strong and nuanced performances. At this performance we have understudy Holly Sullivan on as Mollie Ralston and I thought she played a very warm and nurturing Mrs Ralston and her performance was strong and believable.

The mousetrap 70th anniversary tour production photo

I thoroughly enjoyed The Mousetrap it is a cleverly written play which is serious but has humour littered throughout. The play is fast paced, exciting and full of red herrings which will keep the audience guessing right till the end.

The Mousetrap is on at The Lowry until Saturday 13th April 2024, you can purchase tickets by clicking on the button below.

If you would like more information about the musical and see where it will be touring to please click the button below for the show's official website.

Photo Credit - Matt Crockett

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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