The Mousetrap at Mayflower, Southampton

Thomas Howes stars as Sgt Trotter in The Mousetrap at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Thomas Howes stars as Sgt Trotter in The Mousetrap at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
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After 60 years you’d think most people would know ‘whodunit’ or perhaps no longer care.

So it’s an achievement that The Mousetrap is still packing houses on its anniversary tour.

Agatha Christie’s play opened at The Mayflower with all the elements of the classic murder mystery.

A clutch of characters with hazy histories and a tendency to rub each other up the wrong way gather at a country house. Snowfall means there’s no escape and, get this, someone’s cut the telephone wire.

So it’s as creaky as a door in a haunted house and has a lot less tension. But the production is also a fun slice of classic theatre, slickly done with a good cast and moments of knowing humour.

Without the charismatic characters of Poirot or Marple and lavish period detail, this Christie tale now feels a bit staid and slow. At times you hope the Belgian sleuth will waddle in to solve the case a bit quicker.

But it still benefits from that twisty Christie plot.