Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which has the best kept secret in British theatre, returns to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre this autumn starring Susan Penhaligon from September 23-28.
There will be nightly performances at 7.45pm, and Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm matinees. Tickets from £21. Call the box office on 01323 412000 or visit eastbournetheatres.co.uk.
This is what reviewer Kevin Anderson had to say about the production at the Devonshire Park Theatre in 2015:
“The English-speaking world is divided into two: those who have seen The Mousetrap and those who haven’t. (Oh, there is also a small sub-set of people who have not actually seen it, but think they once accidentally overheard who dunnit.)
“It’s Middle England in midwinter. The country-house set is authentic and impressive, with stained glass and dark oak panelling, but the initial mood is light. An eager young couple - the sympathetic and perfectly paired Mark Homer and Esther McAuley - have just opened their new hotel venture, and a random set of visitors all shake off the snow on arrival.
“There is a hyperactive young man in a Fair Isle sweater - a wonderful Edward Elgood - and a retired major, played thoroughly decently by William Ilkley. Hester Arden is an enigmatic lass, while Anne Kavanagh’s crotchety old lady disapproves of everything, and Jonathan Sidgwick plays moustachioed Italian Paravicini with a flourish.
“But among them lurks a murderer, and in sweeps inscrutable Sergeant Trotter (Luke Jenkins) to burrow his way through dark secrets and disguised identities, to the shocking truth….
“Great credit to all eight actors for coaxing every ounce of life out of the stereotypes. But truthfully the characters are the stuff of Cluedo, and the plot is everything. Miss Christie often explores powerful themes of justice and morality, but here, the thriller is really just about the thrills.
“The production - halfway through a phenomenal UK tour that just underlines the play’s following - has many strengths: bright playing, pace and clarity, lovely comic moments, and a genuine sense of encroaching, tightening fear as we reach the denouement.
“Every theatre-goer should see it once. Grab the chance this week. And even if you’ve seen it, you never know: one of these nights they might just change the ending…”
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