Review: Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Ipswich Regent, to Saturday, November 22

Henry Luxemburg (Giles Ralston), Michael Fenner (Mr Paravicini) and Helen Clapp (Mollie Ralston) in

Henry Luxemburg (Giles Ralston), Michael Fenner (Mr Paravicini) and Helen Clapp (Mollie Ralston) in The Mousetrap. Photo Helen Maybanks. - Credit: Helen Maybanks

Part whodunnit, part comedy, part family melodrama; there’s a reason this is the longest running play in the world - clocking in at 60-plus years.

Guests Christopher Wren, Mrs Boyle, Miss Casewell, Major Metcalf and stranded motorist Mr Paravicini find themselves snowed in at Mollie and Giles Ralston’s newly opened guest house. To their horror, they discover one of them is a killer.

To say any more would ruin one of the best kept secrets in theatre history. Safe to say this is a taut, incredibly well-constructed thriller that has you guessing from the cleverly staged opening minutes as each guest arrives.

The set design is genius, helping the talented eight-strong cast keep you off kilter throughout. People leave then reappear via multiple doors, making it increasingly difficult to keep track of who’s missing at pivotal moments.

It feel gloriously old-fashioned, a proper whodunnit; but it means some savvy modern crime fans may spot the dénouement coming. The fun then is working out the why. There were a couple of plot holes too caused by the reveal but all in all it was a great night out.

Wayne Savage

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