16-21 May 2016
Reviewed by Louise Asekokhai
The touring production of The Mousetrap is currently performing at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford. I was lucky enough to go along for the opening night. This was first visit to The Orchard Theatre and also the first time watching The Mousetrap. The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie is famous around the world for being the longest running show of any kind in the history of theatre.
The Orchard Theatre was centrally located and easy to find and had a really nice buzz about it. It is easily accessible by road and train. There were lots of helpful staff giving directions and assistance, a couple of bars and plenty of parking close by.
We were sat in the stalls and the ticket for one of the seats said restricted view but we could see everything clearly as the theatre is reasonably small and the stage was a nice size so all the stage was visible at all times.
The set looked fantastic. The whole play was set in the living room of a guesthouse and it looked very realistic.
The was a cast of only 8 people and started with Mollie Ralston (Anna Andresen) and Giles Ralston played by the understudy (Dan Ball) eagerly awaiting their first guests at their guest house whilst a heavy snow storm came down outside. We quickly learned of a murder that had taken place which was announced on the news on the wireless and we learned the suspect wore a black overcoat and a felt hat. Giles had been wearing those clothes in his opening scene.
One by one their guests arrived Christopher Wren (Oliver Gully), Mrs Boyle (Louise Jameson), Major Metcalf (Tony Boncza), Miss Casewell (Amy Downham) and Mr Paravicini (Gregory Cox) all wearing black coats and felt hats. All the guests have a story and an air of mystery.
Finally, a policeman Sgt Trotter (Lewis Collier) arrives as it is suspected that the murderer is staying at the guest house and that one of the guests or hosts might be the killer. They are all trapped at the house due to the snow and there is soon another murder, this time it’s one of the guests who is murdered and we’re left with wondering who is the murderer and why! I will not spoil the story for anyone yet to see the play so I will say no more.
I found the acting great, the storyline kept me on my toes, it was clear and easy to understand and it had a good mix of drama, comedy and of course suspense. It was a very enjoyable play and everyone seemed to be having a great night.
I will be visiting The Orchard Theatre again as it looks like they have plenty of good shows coming on in the near future and it was a lovely little theatre.
Tickets cost from £18 to £33 (booking fees may apply).
The Mousetrap is at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford until 21 May 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01322 220000.
The Orchard Theatre, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1ED | 01322 220000