Review: The Mousetrap, New Theatre

I went into this play not knowing what to expect other than the basics. The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play written by Agatha Christie. It is set in an old manor house, which the owners have recently converted into a guesthouse. It begins on a cold, winter afternoon with the guests being introduced one by one. However, as the days go on, the guests discover one of their own has been murdered and amongst them is the murderer. The play was very similar to the New Theatre’s recent adaptation of Rehearsal for Murder- it began slowly and remained at the same pace until the last few minutes of the play when the identity of the killer is revealed. Despite this, the set was beautifully designed, as you would expect with it being based in a late English manor. It remained faithful to its time with stage props including an old radio and timely wood fireplace. The acting, however, was mediocre, which was disappointing as the play had great potential. Anna Andresen who played the lead role of Mollie Ralston gave a rather consistent performance, as did the characters who played Mrs. Boyle and Christopher. Unfortunately, the other actors came across as over the top and, in the case of Mr. Paravicina, somewhat ridiculous and overly loud. Christie’s piece is in fact considered to be one of the greatest murder mysteries in theatre history and I feel it could have been so if the acting had been a little more enhanced. The ending, however, was unexpected and not at all predictable which left the audience on the edge of their seats. Despite the average acting, the overall plotline was well thought out and represented Christie’s legacy well.

by Sarah Harris