Wittenberg students brought one of Agatha Christie’s famous plays, “The Mousetrap,” to the mainstage last week with great success.
“We’ve been sold out every night!” said senior Deidre Hooley, assistant stage manager for the show.
The play is a murder mystery that centers on the nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice.” One person is killed at the beginning of the play, and a second character follows shortly after. The setting has all the usual parts of a murder mystery: there’s a snowstorm that traps everyone inside, a man turns up unexpectedly and makes eerie comments about how no one can get in or out of the house, and a policeman comes to stay with them for safety.
The rest of the play follows a fairly standard sequence of looking for the killer. They get a description, it matches one of the characters very well, but another character vehemently says it can’t be true. Everyone begins accusing everyone else, including Mollie and Giles Ralston, a newly married couple and the owners of the guest house. Some of the interrogation scenes got fairly intense and added to the build up of drama.
Although the actual script didn’t have me on the edge of my seat until the last few scenes, I think the actors did a great job portraying their characters. I especially loved seeing Robert Prines as the eccentric and endearing Christopher Wren, Melanie Ellis as the guarded Miss Casewell, and Campbell Eccles as the mysteriously foreign Mr. Paravichini. The ending was very well done, but in true fashion of the play, audience members are sworn to secrecy about its ending.
The set, as usual, was very well done and transported audience members into a guest house in England during a winter snow storm. I especially liked the falling snow that could be seen from the large window in the scene; it made it feel much more realistic than just to have the backdrop of snowy hills outside of the window.
Overall, I think the actors and crew did a great job of bringing to life what I thought was only an alright plot; I could just be the odd voice out, however, because the play is the longest running show of any kind and has been running in London for 62 years.