Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Mousetrap

Play #107 - The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie

Okay, I have actually read this play before, but I figured I would post about it anyway, since I did re-read it today in preparation for directing it in the fall.

Mollie and Giles have inherited a large country home, and have decided to open a bed and breakfast, and this is their first weekend, so Mollie wants everything to be perfect. Of course, the weather is not cooperating, as there is a terrible blizzard raging outside. Still, the guests do appear one by one: an eccentric young man named Christopher Wren, a judgmental lady named Mrs. Boyle, a jovial former military man named Major Metcalfe, a tough young woman named Miss Casewell, and a mysterious (and unexpected) man named Mr. Paravicini. As they all talk, information comes out about a recent murder in London. Then, when Inspector Trotter arrives, he informs them that the murderer left this address at the scene of the crime, and they believe that his next target will be one of them. And thus unfolds a classic whodunnit. I won't go into who dies and who did it, but I will say that I HATE the ending of this play. After the big climax where they confront the killer, there's this scene where everything is explained (which is fine), but the final lines involve a burning pie in the kitchen... which just totally deflates any sense of suspense there may have been over the course of the play. I get the desire to return to normal, but come on, Agatha! Help a sister out here! Suddenly we're supposed to be in a sitcom? <sigh>

At any rate, the play itself has some potential. It will be performed in October, so we're hoping to get a bit of the Halloween crowd on our side. And it really is important to me to find a way to create a genuine sense of menace and suspense... so that's my goal! And now... back to the analysis!

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