THE 70th Anniversary tour of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, the longest running play in the world, continues to enthrall audiences.
As part of the audience for the show's opening night at the Floral Pavilion on Monday night (November 6), it was easy to see why.
Written by Agatha Christie, it premiered at Theatre Royal Nottingham in 1952 and toured the UK before opening in the West End where it continues its record-breaking run at the St Martin’s Theatre, 70 years on.
The production is a celebration of good, old fashioned traditional theatre capturing the true essence of the writer's gift for creating complex plots and unforgettable characters.
As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at Monkswell Manor, a remote countryside guesthouse. When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover – to their horror – that a killer is in their midst.
One by one, the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts. Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim?
The only way to find out is to see the production yourself.
The fantastic set certainly plays its part in creating an isolated place in which something sinister is about to happen; complete with 'snow' effect outside the window and a howling wind.
Concentration is key. From the moment the play began, I felt like I should have had a notepad handy to take down important details which could have been clues leading to the killer's identity or red herrings.
During the interval, Mrs M and I shared our thoughts on who we thought had committed the crime. As the curtain fell at the end of performance, we realised that our conclusions weren't wrong.
The production is produced by Adam Spiegel with direction by Ian Talbot OBE and Denise Silvey.
The cast features Todd Carty (EastEnders, Grange Hill) as Major Metcalf and Catherine Shipton (known for playing Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin in BBC drama Casualty) as Mrs. Boyle.
They are joined by Rachel Dawson as Mollie Ralston, Michael Lyle as Giles Ralston, Shaun McCourt as Christopher Wren, Leigh Lothian as Miss Casewell and Steven Elliot as Mr Paravicini.
There is plenty of humour throughout and the two and half hour play is beautifully paced leading up to the now famous ending in which the audience is sworn to secrecy as we were all 'accomplices in crime' and had to keep the killer's identity to ourselves.
If you have never seen The Mousetrap before, this is one to get caught up.
It is at the Floral until Saturday.
Tickets from the Floral Pavilion website