Review: The Mousetrap at Manchester Opera House is “Intriguing, lively and entertaining”

Agatha Christie's iconic murder mystery play, The Mousetrap, has landed at Manchester's Opera House. 
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It is set in the 1950s, inside of a newly opened guesthouse. The married couple, Mollie Ralston and Giles Ralston, played by Joelle Dyson and Laurence Pears, run the place themselves.

The classic whodunit keeps an excited audience hooked until the very end.

The set design is very charming and the lighting has a real relevance to the story. The stage is lit by lamps and a warm fireplace which sits vividly on the stage.

The fire’s presence is one that is treasured by the guests, amid  icy snow outside.

Naturalistic sound effects such as the wind and door slams add a sensory depth to the performance and during tense scenes, have the audience even the more on edge.

Through the direction of Ian Tablot and Denise Silvey, the audience are helplessly involved in solving the mystery.

At the end of the first of two acts, the characters are dramatically positioned across the stage. The strategic structure of this scene recurs in act two.

The costumes, credit to Janet Hudson-Holt, are significant in enhancing the characters’ sense of stubborn individuality.

Detective SGT. Trotter, played refreshingly by Joseph Reed, is the conductor in the intriguing plot he orchestrates.

What is obviously a spectacle of a play is presented by excellent actors. Joelle Dyson acts effortless in the story, and shows skill in her vocal ability and stage presence. She and her partner on stage, Laurence Pears, have natural chemistry.

An actor clearly at home on stage is Elliot Clay. He revelled in the role of Christopher Wren and was lively and entertaining throughout.

John Altman, famous for his role in EastEnders, plays Mr Paravicini with a real presence. He showcases an easy-going, theatrical character that provides humour throughout.

This production is a fitting celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s play.

The Mousetrap produced by Adam Spiegel is showing now at The Opera House. You can buy your tickets here.

 

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