I have been an Agatha Christie fan ever since I first picked up one of her novels when I was 11. Since then I cannot remember a time when I have not been aware of the play The Mousetrap, which has been playing to packed houses in London’s West End since 25th November 1952. That is quite a record. I have always wanted to see it – yet somehow, ridiculously never getting around to it.
However the Mousetrap is on tour for its 60th anniversary. I hadn’t actually heard about the tour, recently I saw a poster advertising the week long staging in my home city, I was beyond excited. Originally, I had wanted to go with two friends (impossible all tickets for seats together had gone). I managed to secure a single seat. I find that it is often possible to get concert and theatre tickets when the show is all but sold out that way – there is usually one or two odd seats dotted about. In the end I had a very good seat – the seventh row of the stalls – a marvellously clear view of the stage and the actors.
I’m not going to say too much about the story of the play – it is of course traditional to keep “whodunit” a secret – and I’ll certainly be doing that. As a period piece The Mousetrap is wonderfully atmospheric. There are jokes about rationing and references that would have been very much of the time, raising a big laugh. The Mousetrap is in parts, very funny. It is also brilliantly clever – and so entertaining, I just loved it. Did I guess? Yes I did – I was rather surprised at myself, I don’t often manage to do that.
In the run up to my exciting night out I hadn’t really thought much about who might be in it. It was only on opening my programme that I saw that there were several recognisable actors from British tv among the cast.
Fans of Coronation Street may remember Bruno Langley who played Todd Grimshaw in the show for three years. There were also brilliant performances from Karl Howman, Clare Wilkie and Graham Seed who were all very recognisable to me, and I’m sure they will be to other people.
The entire cast though, were first class and made for a brilliant evening’s entertainment.