17-22 March 2014
Reviewed by Laura Fairbairn
After a 1½ hour drive we arrived at The Lowry Outlet car park that is also used by people visiting The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays, Manchester. Finding a space was quite easy as we arrived about 2 hours before the start of the show. The downside to our early arrival was that we would not be covered by the free parking allowance that you get if your ticket is validated at one of the outlet’s stores. The free allowance of time is 4 hours – if you are going to need more than this it will cost you £6.00 when paid for prior to the show. There is an option to pay for your parking after the show and it will probably only cost you £2.50 but if you choose to do this you have to accept the fact that you may end up in a fairly long queue waiting to get out afterwards.
The Lowry Theatre is a very modern building both inside and out. It is very spacious, very clean and attractively decorated. There are numerous banners advertising current and upcoming events displayed throughout the foyer. There is also a Lowry Gift Shop with a variety of products available to purchase at quite reasonable prices. The food and drinks available within each area of the theatre is reasonably priced compared to other local theatres.
The staff that we met at the The Lowry Theatre were all exceptionally polite and friendly – there is nothing negative to say about them.
I knew very little about the show itself before I went, and this is exactly how I wanted it; I love a good mystery and I didn’t want to know all the details of the plot beforehand as I was looking forward to the surprise. I do, however, love Agatha Christie novels and the television programmes based on them so I know I was in for a treat with The 60th Anniversary Tour of The Mousetrap!
The first thing I noticed was that the set was exceptional and was used by the actors to its full potential – I was so very pleasantly surprised! I have seen theatre shows before where the sets were mediocre, less than impressive and really not utilised by the actors to support the performance. The set for The Mousetrap is very realistic, from the wood panelled walls to the comfy chair by the fireplace and the smaller accessories really compliment the setting.
I was excited to read about the actors in the programme (priced at £4.00 – bargain!) prior to the start of the show, but knowing of some of them from their previous work, I was a little concerned that despite the story being so different I would perhaps see similarities in the characters – I needn’t have worried! The acting was excellent, convincing and oh so comical in places! Casting Michael Fenner as Mr Paravicini was an exceptional choice; he really is a natural and his comedy timing is spot on – without giving too much away, his ‘dramatics’ really bring a special aspect to the play as a whole.
I couldn’t possibly give away the whole plot of a mystery that has stood the test of time for 60 years, so I will just say this; The Mousetrap is set in a Country guesthouse and has just 8 characters. The small cast certainly does not mean less mystery and intrigue; the play is full of twists and turns! The script and pace of the performance ensure that the audience is kept guessing until the last minute. I watch crime dramas and mysteries on a regular basis (both film and TV) and I love to read these types of book too; I like to think that I am quite good at figuring things out, but despite my ‘suspicions’ The Mousetrap kept me guessing until the very end!
Even now knowing the plot and outcome of this mystery, I would love to go and watch it again and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others!
I have no hesitation in giving The 60th Anniversary Tour of The Mousetrap 5/5.
Tickets cost from £22.00 – £51.50 (including £2.00 booking fee).
To book tickets call the Box Office on 0843 208 6000 or book online here.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ