With its impressive non-stop run of 60 years, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is indisputably the Maggie Smith of London Theatre. Jolly good, The Mousetrap. I take off my metaphorical hat to you. To celebrate its 60th anniversary in the West End, The Mousetrap popped off on a six month UK tour to allow others to experience its 20th century scandal, morality and overuse of the word “rather”. Happily, my visit to Dublin coincided with its brief run at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre so my father and I were able to go and bear witness to the spectacle.
(FYI, this post shall be spoiler-free since at the close of each performance the audience is sworn to secrecy by the cast. I am afraid to announce that the age old “whodunnit?” will indeed remain a mystery. *disappears into mist*)
On arriving at the theatre I was slightly disappointed that the production lacked an orchestra and instead offered the eager-eared audience a tired old recording; nonetheless I was squirming in my seat for some scandalous 1900s sexy bits and affairs and stockings and whatnot. Sadly, aside from the heinous murders and court case involving cruel treatment of children, the only real saucy bit was the fact that the owners of Monkswell Manor Guest House had the nerve to run their establishment “without a proper staff”. These criticisms were delivered by Elizabeth Power as Mrs Boyle – the snooty, racist, ageist, homophobic granny-figure that we all somehow learn to love. Power’s Boyle was typical, but brilliant; she stood out, particularly since some of the acting was a little fluffy. Woolley, if you like. Cottony. It had the quality of inexpensive material.
Power, on the other hand, was pure cashmere
Steven France as Christopher Wren – a young, eccentric, mustard-yellow-cords-wearing fellow – was also quite fantastic; his stage presence was fab-u-lous, as he pranced around the stage with enthusiastic hand gesture, the occasional giggle and a wonderful knitted vest. One to watch, methinks.
I was, however, disappointed with the lack of sexy content. I was a little excited by Clare Wilkie sweeping onto stage as Miss Casewell; with her boyish haircut and sharp trouser suit I was sure that she was going to be a lesbian and that romance would blossom between her and Mrs Ralston, guesthouse owner, but it wasn’t to be. Perhaps that plot twist would’ve been a little too much for Aggie.