The Mousetrap 70th Anniversary Tour At Theatre Royal, Nottingham Review


Reviewed by Louise Edwards

The Mousetrap celebrates its 70th anniversary tour visiting over 70 theatres across the British Isles, and kicking off at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal where interestingly it held its premiere back in the 1950s with Agatha Christie herself sat in the stalls.

As the world’s longest running play, which is an incredible accomplishment given the writer herself didn’t expect it to last more than six months, The Mousetrap is a whodunnit with the closely guarded twist at the end which audiences are sworn to secrecy.

The play opens as news of a murder in London comes open a radio announcement is played in the living room of newly opened Monkswell Manor, a guesthouse owned by Mollie and Giles Ralston (played wonderfully by Joelle Dyson and Lawence Pears Mollie is awaiting the first guests and hears the news report and that the police are looking out for a man in a dark overcoat, dark felt hat and pale scarf.

The four guests arrive; the excitable Christopher Wren played by Elliot Clay, the miserable Mrs Boyle,played by Gwyneth Strong (Cassandra from Only Fools and Horses) and retired military Major Metcalf played by Todd Carty, (Tucker Jenkins from Grange Hill) arrive together in a taxi from the station and Miss Casewell played by Essie Barrow. An unexpected fifth guest turns up, Mr Paravicini played by John Altman. He tells the hosts that his car has overturned in a snowdrift and that the guest house is effectively snowed in. Reluctantly, as she feels uneasy by his demeanor, Mrs Ralston gives him her last room.

The next afternoon the guests are feeling restless at being snowed in. Mrs Ralston receives a call from Superintendent Hogden of the Berkshire Police who tells her he is sending Sergeant Trotter (played magnificently by Joseph Reed) to speak with them and they must listen carefully to what he has to say. Major Metcalf discovers the telephone lines have been cut but the drama moves to the arrival of Trotter who informs them he is there as there is a link to the murder of Maureen Lyon by strangulation, in London and their guesthouse which address was written on a notebook found at the scene..It turns out the victim was the foster mother of three children who were abused in her care and has recently being released from prison before meeting her fate. The owners and guests all deny any connection but Major Metcalf challenges Mrs Boyle who admits to being a magistrate who authorised the care of the children to their abusers. As the first half closes Mrs Boyle is found strangled.

Directed by Ian Talbot and produced by Adam Spiegel, the play exposes the truth as the finger is pointed at all of the inhabitants of the guest house in some manner, secrets are unearthed and identities revealed with comedy and intrigue aplenty.

Nottingham is the first venue on the nationwide tour and to say this was just the 2nd performance the six strong talented had put on it was excellent. There were a few fumbles with props – namely a lamp which insisted on falling over and John Altman’s dodgy Italian accent (which did occasionally slip into cockney) it was an exemplary show.

The performance lasts approximately 2 hours 20 minutes with a 15 minute interval.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £17.50

Mousetrap is on at Theatre Royal, Nottingham until Saturday 10 September

For more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 0115 989 5555

Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND

Further details of the tour can be found here.

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