The 60th Anniversary tour of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap heaves-to at the New Theatre Royal this week. If the opening night’s audience is anything to go by there are certainly tickets left for the rest of the week – which is just plain wrong!
A 21st-century eye on the piece makes it an interesting watch. Christie wrote it as an out-and-out thriller. Now, 60 years later, with a more cynical standpoint, it’s wonderfully, creakily comic as well as thrilling.
This touring cast do – of course! – play it straight, and rightly so.
Like all Christie plays, it’s an ensemble piece and not one of the cast lets the side down.
Anna Andresen and Nick Barclay excel as the owners of the newly-opened guest-house. Gregory Cox and Oliver Gully get to camp things up hugely as Messrs Paravicini and Wren and Amy Downham and Lewis Collier chew the scenery with panache.
Only poor Tony Boncza doesn’t really get a chance to shine, as the drab Major Metcalf, but the beautiful Louise Jameson holds the stage from the moment she gets her hands on it.
Clunky the dialogue may be, but the play remains a milestone-piece of English theatre history. It’s here for a week – go see it!