Nov 20

Vertigo Theatre’s The Mousetrap is a well produced murder mystery

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

moustrapVertigo Theatre hasn’t produced an Agatha Christie mystery since And then there were none back in the 2010-2011 season and they also produced The Mousetrap back in the 2008-2009 season. Christie is considered to be the queen of mystery and this play has been running in London’s West End since 1952. It’s no wonder, as the play is a classic, with a slow build up and presents enough doubt about each character that when the murderer is revealed, it is a great journey to get there.

The Mousetrap tells of The Monkswell Manor in Berkshire, England which Mollie Ralston (Anna Cummer) and her husband Giles Ralston (Devon Dubnyk) have decided to turn into an Inn. On their first night of opening, there is a terrible snow storm and their eclectic guests are snowed in. There is the odd Christopher Wren (Geoffrey Simon Brown) who might make the wrong move at any moment and the irritating Mrs. Boyle (Laura Parken). Major Metcalf (Duval Lang) is quite reasonable and level headed while Miss Casewell (Genevieve Pare) seems to be the same, mostly. Mr Paravicini (Cam Ascroft) has an overbearing sense of humour that he mostly uses against Sergeant Trotter (Stafford Perry). The sergeant reveals that a woman was murdered down the street from Monkswell Manor and left a notebook behind, with the nursery rhyme ‘Three Blind Mice’ written down along with the Monkswell Manor address. The police have reason to believe that the murderer is at the manor, planning to take two more victims.

The set up to the Mousetrap is engaging and the audience is left guessing who the murderer is and who will be the next victim. The narrative builds slowly and all of the cast moves it along quite nicely. Cummer is the right mix of nervous and steady as Mollie and Dubnyk matches her as a foil. Simon Brown is awkward and a little bit off as Wren, which gives the narrative a character to mix things up while Parken is snobby and unbearable as Mrs. Boyle. It all plays out on an impressive set by Narda McCarroll, the manor has arches and a great window in the back with trees and occasionally falling snow.

Director Kate Newby has the action unfold as a steady simmer though there are instances where the audience wonders why characters would want to disappear alone if there is a murderer on the loose. Christie casts enough doubt on each suspect so that you are constantly changing your mind on who did it. The Mousetrap is a well-produced murder mystery by Vertigo Theatre.

Vertigo Theatre’s The Mousetrap runs until December 13th. More information is available online.

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