Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
31 Jan 2019
11:11 am

The Mousetrap review – A riveting whodunnit

Adriaan Roets

It’s a topnotch production that’s – dare I say it – unmissable.

The Mousetrap.

Some people say “start with the classics” and as far as plays go, few are as classical as Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.

Since opening nearly 70 years ago in Britain, the play has been absorbed into pop culture and has taken on a life of its own.

It’s been parodied and borrowed from, dusted off and restaged – and yet it never ages. That’s because a classical staging of this whodunnit is a cornerstone of anyone’s appreciation of live theatre.

It features edge-of-your-seat suspense, a madhouse of characters and wonderful twists and turns.

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The latest South African run doesn’t derail the formula, it’s Agatha Christie performed how it should be for a new audience (and some returns). The 2019 production follows the tradition of asking audiences to keep the secret of the twist at the end and if you have never seen it before, it’s a marvelous tour de force of detective work.

A lot of the highs of the production can be attributed to Mark Wynter, a West End star, and director Jonathan Tafler, who has acted as Mr Paravicini in the original St Martin’s Theatre production of the play’s opening.

Everything works like clockwork within the paradigms of the text, and each exit and entrance runs smoothly. It’s a topnotch production that’s – dare I say it – unmissable. It would be a pity to uncover the truth in a sub-par production.

Some fun facts

Agatha Christies’s books have sold billions of copies around the world – more than any other author, after the Bible.

The Mousetrap is the longest-running play in London’s West End. This year, the play is in its 68th year of production at St Martin’s Theatre. Since October 6, 1952 the play has been peformed more than 27 000 times.

Patrons attending the St Martin’s production in London are asked to tip their cab driver on arrival at the theatre. A bad tip usually means the cabby will shout the murderer’s name and speed off. Maybe a sign to tip your Uber driver too?


Rating:  ★☆
Starring: Mark Wynter, Malcolm Terrey and Michele Maxwell
Director: Jonathan Tafler
Theatre: Montecasino Theatre

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