The Mousetrap is a part of British theatre history, having been playing continously since it premiered in 1952. Throughout its long run of over 25,000 performances, audiences have been asked not to divulge "whodunnit", and I'll keep to this tradition here.
The setting is Monkswell Manor, an English rural guest house run by Mollie and Giles Ralston, who have only just opened for business and are dismayed to find that their very first guests (not all of whom they had actually been expecting) are an extremely odd, and sometimes critical, bunch. Things become rapidly worse when they realise that they are snowed in, with a killer in their midst, and that they are all suspects.
There is only one set for the entire play, the guest house's sitting room, with various other unseen rooms leading off, which adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere of eight people being forced to endure each other's company with no means of escape.
Despite this being a murder/mystery, it also has a lot of humour, especially in the way the somewhat stereotyped characters interact with each other. It seems each of the guests has a secret in the past that they want to keep hidden, but which the police sergeant, who managed to get to the house on skis, is determined to find out. The plot has many twists and turns before reaching the ending...which of course I cannot divulge!
All eight actors in this performance played their parts to perfection, and the set design and sound were also excellent. Altogether, this was a beautifully crafted play which was a delight from start to finish.
So, if you want to know whodunnit, get along to see The Mousetrap, which runs till Saturday 1st November.
Review by Lisa Sibbald