Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run
They all ran after the farmer’s wife
She cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life as three blind mice?
Written by Agatha Christie, this murder mystery has been playing continuously in London’s West End since 1952. Now theatre goers in Melbourne have the opportunity to experience The Mousetrap and discover for themselves why this stage play has been drawing audiences for 70 years.
The story takes place in Monkswell Manor outside London during a blizzard, a recently converted guesthouse owned by Mollie and Giles Ralston. (Anna O’Byrne and Alex Rathgeber) It’s their first day of business and prior to five guests arriving on a wintry evening it’s reported on the radio that a woman has been strangled in the area and police are searching for the suspect.
Anna O’Byrne and Alex Rathgeber (Giles and Mollie Ralston) work exceptionally well against each other and bring great depth to both characters. O’Byrne excels at bringing the tender and lighter sides out of Mollie, but delivers a great punch when needed, as does Rathgeber, who also brings a great sense of authority to the role. Laurence Boxhall is wonderful as the slightly abnormal Christopher Wren. Boxhall brings bucket loads to the character of Wren, giving him such depth and life. He brings so much light and shade to this role, often leaving the audience in fits of laughter. Adam Murphy (Major Metcalf) is strong and confident and commands an admirable stage presence. Gerry Connolly brings just the right levels of mystery to the role of Mr Paravicini and his accent work is exceptional. Connolly’s big personality is an asset to the role of Mr Paravicini, commanding attention whenever he enters the room.
The set for The Mousetrap is superb. Associate set designer, Isabel Hudson, has perfectly captured the beauty of an old English Manor, and her early 50s costume design is divine.
Bubbling with humour and drama, from the costuming to the crisp pace, this production is sheer period-drama delight.
So come and see if you can solve the mystery and identify the murderer. Like the millions who already know who did it, the answer is to be trapped inside like the mouse, and we’re not telling!
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is now playing at Melbournes Comedy Theatre but for a strictly limited season.
For tickets and more information head to themousetrap.com.au
photos by Brian Geach