Exeter, Devon UK • May 27, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit The Mousetrap: 70th Anniversary tour at the Northcott

The Mousetrap: 70th Anniversary tour at the Northcott

Lauren Walsh and Maddie Conlan, Arts and Lit editors, review the Northcott showing of The Mousetrap.
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Image: Lauren Walsh and Maddie Conlan

Fans of Agatha Christie (and the murder mystery genre alike) will have heard of the play The Mousetrap. It holds the title as the longest running show on the West End (and the world) and has left audiences shocked and intrigued for the past seventy years. For a Tuesday night in the middle of April The Northcott Theatre was absolutely packed. There was not a single empty seat in sight. Both the sound design and set design were used to draw the audience into the dark, gripping mystery of Monkswell Manor…

With a classic Christie cast of characters, from the newly-weds Mollie and Giles Ralston, to the spiteful old Mrs Boyle, to the mysterious Mr Paravicini, each character was nuanced and intriguing to watch, making it easy to forget that the play only has eight cast members. As expected, each character had something to hide, and a secret hidden in their mysterious, shrouded past. It is all down to the police officer, Detective Sergeant Trotter, to uncover the truth of the mysterious murder. The cast were phenomenal and each embodied their different character-type perfectly, such as the moody elderly lady, the eccentric architect and the stern sergeant. They used their talent for physical comedy, and comedic timing, to not only amuse the audience but also to throw them into turmoil of suspicion.

The play never feels cliché, which is truly a testament to Christie’s writing ability.

The play, hits all of the expected tropes and novelties of a 40s mystery: a big stately home, delightful cast of characters trapped there during a snowstorm and, gasp, someone’s cut the phone line! It was full of sharp-tongued wit and even had moments of self-aware humour where the characters seemed to be poking fun at the murder mystery genre itself. Despite The Mousetrap being in-keeping with all the expected murder mystery tropes, the play never feels cliché, which is truly a testament to Christie’s writing ability. The set itself consisted of one room, gorgeously decorated with fluffy pillows and a central roaring fire, that had many a passageway creeping off to different sections of the house. The cast were so good at moving around and using every inch of the space that we forgot that we were viewing the action in only one room…

… hit all of the expected tropes and novelties of a 40s mystery

If you are like us and enjoy playing along and trying to guess ‘who dunnit’ then this is certainly the play to see, with red herrings and plot twists throughout, the play keeps you guessing right until the very end (all of our theories were wrong, which, lets face it, is the best way for a murder mystery to end). By combing the mystery of cases within cases, visual gags of the different costuming that each character possessed, and the use of the ominous nursery rhyme ‘three blind mice’ haunting the narrative, we were kept on the edge of our seat throughout. The compelling nature of the mystery, and how its killer is possibly the best kept secret on the West End, makes The Mousetrap a must watch for any crime aficionado.

The Mousetrap is showing at the Northcott until the 20th of April, before the tour moves on to Poole, Dorset.

If you want to see more theatre at the Northcott, why not try out the Under 26 Members discount, which is free to sign up for and you gain access to exclusive £5 and £10 tickets on selected shows. We highly recommend going to see as many of the Northcott shows as possible as you will not be left disappointed!

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