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Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 16th Sep 2014 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe
Agatha Christie’s record breaking whodunit returns to Glasgow to keep a fresh audience guessing.
 
The Mousetrap 60th Anniversary Tour

The Mousetrap is famously the longest running production in British Theatre history; having been performed in London’s West End continuously since its opening in 1952.  With over 25,000 performances in its London home alone, this play is clearly doing something right!  To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the play licenced 60 productions worldwide including a tour of UK regional theatres for the first time.  With phenomenal success, the tour has been extended to give an even wider audience access to this record breaking production.
 
Understandably, the play is in the classic mould being based in an imposing manor house in post war Britain where 8 principal characters are cut off from the outside world by a heavy snow storm.  A murder has been committed in nearby London and during the first act we come to appreciate that among the assembled characters are two more prospective victims … and the murderer.
 
The styling throughout will please any Agatha Christie fan.  The standing Great Hall set is suitably grand and reassuringly solid with an imposing fireplace and panelled walls.  Costumes and furniture fit the bill beautifully and even sound is very subtly amplified to maintain an intimate and authentic feel to the performance.  Direction from Ian Watt-Smith also fits the period nicely where (particularly female) actors are called upon to deliver melodrama and knuckle-in-the-mouth stifled screams – think Grace Kelly in “Dial M For Murder”.  Helen Clapp delivered this beautifully as Mollie Ralston with excellent support from this small cast including Luke Jenkins as Sgt. Trotter.
 
All in all, this production delivers what you might expect from a 60 year old Agatha Christie classic which has been faithfully preserved.  Unfortunately, for me, this included a rather pedestrian plot and 8 caricature personas along with a reasonably obvious conclusion.  I think that modern audiences expect more of the unexpected from their intelligent suspense dramas these days.  However, I don’t want to detract from this production too much as it clearly achieves what it set out to achieve.
 
Agatha Christie fans will love it.
 
The Mousetrap
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
15 – 20 Sep 2014
Tickets £11.90 - £34.90 (bkg fee)
 http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-mousetrap-2/theatre-royal-glasgow/ 

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