This was my first outing to the King's Theatre on Leven Street. The theatre opened in 1906 and has all the charm and decadence of a historical theatre. I settled into my seat in the upper circle and waited for the show to begin. The Mousetrap is set in a newly opened hotel called Monkswell Manor. Husband and wife team Giles and Molly have only just opened the hotel in their inherited home and are anxiously waiting for their first guests to arrive. When the curtain came up we were inside the hotel's lounge room. Wooden panels, a fire place and homely furniture set the scene. I loved the large bay window at the back of the set that looked like snow was falling heavily 'outside'. The old radio was on and the reporter was relaying details of a murder that had taken place in London and police were searching for someone of medium build, wearing a dark coat, light scarf and dark felt hat.
Molly and Giles are a seemingly happily married couple about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, but with most Agatha Christie stories, you always have your suspicions. The guests arrive one by one, each one instantly more suspicious than the last. You have the typical eccentric young man, the Colonel, the stuffy old lady, the tough feminist and the unexpected foreigner. They were an interesting mix of people, made even more suspicious by their reaction to a police Sargent arriving. One of the guests is murdered at the end of the first act, and I spent the entire interval deciding and then changing my mind as to who the murderer was.
My favourite character was 'Christopher Wren'- the eccentric young man. Every time he walked into the scene I felt like he really lifted the mood. He was exactly the sort of mad character that for some reason I always identify with.
In the end, I tweaked who the murderer was about 10 minutes before it was revealed, but my sister (who came with me) was completely in the dark. At the end of the play, they ask you not to tell any one who the murderer was- so I won't tell you, but in true Agatha Christie style it was genius!
The set design of the performance was fantastic, I loved the bay window with fake snow falling outside. It created a really sinister atmosphere. The play was gripping, funny in some parts, and had a cast of truly talented actors and actresses. The Mousetrap has a regular run at the St Martin Theatre in London. If you weren't lucky enough to catch it on tour, I highly recommend that next time you're in London you head down to the theatre for a truly entertaining night.
Visit the St Martin's Theatre website here for further information about upcoming performances.