British theatre’s longest running show returns in fine form for its 60th anniversary.
It’s been a miserable few days in Cornwall with the latter stages of August feeling more like bleak December than the warm summer break we were all hoping for. This is all the more fitting though for a winter-set murder mystery tale.
The set is spellbinding. A country house isolated from the outside world, cut off from society thanks to a thick snow storm, has been crafted beautifully. Snow falls outside the lounge window, an open fire burns and doors and staircases lead off to unknown passages off-stage. The attention-to-detail of the design cannot be flawed here.
Eastenders’ Mark Homer leads an impressive cast that succeeds in sparking the classic mystery back to life. Edward Elgood’s Christopher Wren storms the stage with bombastic melodrama that initially threatens to grate rather than entertain. However, the obvious shared anguish of the other characters is reassuring and eases his babbling and bleating into an enjoyable slice of comic relief from the seriousness of the story.
If you like melodrama then you’ll happily soak up all that’s on offer here, but at times the cheese comes off a bit too strong and strays into cliche and parody.
The play overall balances humour and detective intrigue well and certainly keeps the audience captivated throughout. Mutual gasps and laughs sprinkle the performance that never fails to entertain.
Whodunit? Well, if you don’t already know the story chances are you’ll be in for a thrilling ride.
The Mousetrap runs at Hall For Cornwall, Truro until 29th August.
A thoroughly entertaining rendition of Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery.