Another play, another experience. Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” was all it promised to be. First produced in 1952, The Mousetrap is today known to be the longest running play in the history of theater. I shall be presumptuous enough to say “English play”, for undoubtedly “Ram-Lilas” and “Hari-Kathas” have been enacted for centuries in India.
The play is set in a fairly typical Christie plot. A snowed-in guest house with no entry/exit route, a possibility of a murder (or two murders), the idea that anyone in the house could be the murderer or the victim... While a seasoned Christie reader(like me ;)) may have a fair chance of guessing the ending, the play did still manage to captivate the audience till the very end.
The drama and suspense with rightly worded and rightly spaced out humor is praiseworthy. The lighting direction is subtle and flawless. It manages to draw one’s attention to a particular character’s expressions and actions just as the author had intended. The actors themselves are annoying, funny, suspicious and unpleasant to the best of their abilities. It was definitely refreshing to see Sherlock Holmes, a butler, a professor and an air hostess (from previous plays) enacting very different roles to equal perfection. The original in 1952 had Richard Attenborough cast in the lead role of sergeant Trotter. Trotter does an amazing job of making it plausible how any one the guests or the owners themselves could be the murderers and seeds suspicion among a couple of each other’s guilt.
The background score is not as ghastly as in some horror movies. Although the music is not very memorable in character, it does effect the right amount of spookiness. As far as the sets and costumes go, I am now resigned to the fact that good plays do not need fancy sets or costumes like the Broadway musicals.
Following the 60 year old tradition, at the end of the play, an announcer comes out and requests the audience to not reveal the ending to friends and future audiences. On the same note, you would enjoy the play better if you have not read the book already.