I’d heard such great things about Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap from friends and family that I was first in line when Nicki asked who was up for the review. Not one for surprises, I had to contain myself from reading the plot beforehand . (I always read the back page of a book so I know what happens at the end and when I’m watching a drama series on Netflix I often look online to find out what happens - Yes I know, I’m pretty weird!) Anyhow, I proudly resisted the urge and headed out with my mum on the first night of the show opening at Perth Concert Hall.
Amazingly, The Mousetrap is celebrating it’s 60th year on the stage and has smashed every record in it’s path to become the longest running show of any kind in British theatre. This is no easy feat, and as we descended on the brightly lit Concert Hall on a dark and cold Monday night in October, it was apparent that it still held all the intrigue and excitement of its early days.
It was great to see the concert hall buzzing with people - in fact after we'd visited the bar we couldn’t find an empty seat! There was really mixed crowd, from teenagers to the golden agers and the Concert hall felt as busy as London’s west-end on a Monday night!
As the call came through the speakers for people to take their seats we headed to the auditorium and were greeted with an upbeat and catchy piano tune that sounded like something from a 1920’s movie. My mum shimmied to her seat and threatened to bust some ‘strictly moves’ much to my amusement and those around us.
There wasn’t an empty seat in the house and as the lights went down and darkness descended on the theatre, the red velvet curtain opening to reveal to the set, you could hear a pin drop.
In a living room illuminated by a glowing log fire and a large church like window looking out onto a dark nights landscape with fluffly flecks of snow falling down, we were introduced to the main characters Mr and Mrs Ralston. The story began with them anxiously getting ready for their first night welcoming people to their newly established guest house.
As the old fashioned doorbell chimed, they greeted their guests one by one. From the loud and eccentric to the stern and rude, all manner of personalities walked through the door. As news of a nearby murder came through the sound of the wireless radio in the corner of the room, the murderer’s description was played aloud and you began to realise that the description could fit anyone that had just been warmly welcomed to the Ralston’s guest house. At this very moment, a shuddering suspicion creeped over the audience...
The story continued and as the curtain went down for the interval everyone was debating whodunnit; the suspense was palpable and we were soon discussing with the gentleman sitting next to us our thoughts on who the murderer might be. Would anyone be smart enough to work it out so early?!
The actors really got into their roles and as the plot thickened it became much more fast-paced and you felt yourself being drawn deeper and deeper into The Mousetrap. I lost count of the amount of theories I came up with and when it was finally revealed it was met with a shocked gasp from the audience. I must tell you that no-one I spoke to guessed correctly, so good luck working it out!
At the end of this fantastic performance the cast personally ask that you keep the secret of The Mousetrap in your hearts and don't share it with anyone. Therfore, I’m going to leave it teetering on this whodunnit cliff hanger.
Not only was this a terrific murder mystery but it was also spinkled with plenty laugh out loud comedy and, of course, crippling suspense. I enjoyed it so much I might try to stop reading the back pages of my books and just enjoy the uneasy anticipation and suspense!
Don’t miss this record breaking show! It’s only here until Thursday 13th October so you need to be quick. Be prepared to suspect everyone in this fantastic show that’s been hypnotizing audiences for 60 years. If last night’s performance was anything to go by I think it will continue to do the same for many more years to come.