mouse cast

The Mousetrap

Malvern Theatres


This Agatha Christie whodunit is the longest running show in the world, yet it still manages to pack out theatres night after night.

This latest UK tour of The Mousetrap pulled in the crowds to Malvern's Festival Theatre for a classic, well produced show that has all the ingredients of a good murder mystery.

Isolated English country house - check; motley crew of quirky distinctive characters - check; retired British major and cantankerous old biddy - check.

It's not just familiarity with the Queen of Crime's signature style that makes The Mousetrap so appealing, there's also a glorious vintage charm about this show that starts when you enter the theatre and are faced with the rich red velvet curtain and clipped British tones of the announcer.

As the curtain rises, a lavish stage perfectly sets the scene in a wood-panelled country manor turned B&B where guests are arriving during a snow storm that cuts them off from the rest of civilisation.

Radio announcements reveal a gruesome murder in London and it soon becomes apparent that there is a connection to someone trapped in the house as the murderer strikes again.

There's red herrings and motives galore plus a hard-hitting story behind the killings, which made Christie's work so popular and cutting edge.

Starting life as a radio play in 1947 called Three Blind Mice before Christie transformed it into a theatre production in 1952, there's a lovely nod to the radio throughout the performance along with sinister renditions of the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice.


Susan Penhaligon as the tetchy Mrs Boyle

The whole production is super slick and there isn't a word, movement or look out of time from the excellent cast, including well-known actress Susan Penhaligon (Emmerdale, A Bouquet Of Barbed Wire).

There's some lovely choreography too when it comes to synchronising radio announcements on the coat, scarf and hat that the murderer was wearing and arrivals at the manor, which prompt many a chuckle from the audience. As does actor Lewis Chandler, who has the most comedic role of zany young man Christopher Wren and plays the part with real zest.

Ultimately, it's the polished performance that keeps people coming back for more.

When it comes to the success of The Mousetrap, it's not a hard case to crack. Basically, if it ain't broke, don't fix it and the unchanged continuity and high quality performance and production of this historic show is what makes it such a must-see at least once in your life for any crime fan. To 20-07-19

Alison Brinkworth


The Mousetrap tour will also be at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre from November 11 to 16.

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