Can’t say whodunit, can say see it

THEATRE
“The Mousetrap”
By Agatha Christie. Tempo Theatre, Belconnen Arts Centre until September 24.
Reviewed by Ian McLean

DESPITE three years living in London, I didn’t ever get to see “The Mousetrap”, the longest-running production of any kind in the history of British theatre.

Thankfully, Tempo Theatre has now presented an opportunity, so I joined an excited group of Year 11 Merici College English students and a near-capacity audience to be transported back to a time long gone when language was cultured and quaint, pace of life was slow and steady and social class status was painfully prominent.

A competent cast captured the seeming simplicity of this bygone era with clarity, poise and appropriate pomp.

Sarah McCarthy (despite an accent lapse or two) played the pivotal Mollie with sympathy and compassion, Ethan Gibson shone as the rascal youngster Christopher Wren and Garry Robinson was a convincing Mr Paravicini.

John Lombard was a methodical policeman as he gently probed allowing suspicion to fall on all, but it was Cheryl Browne as Mrs Boyle who stole the show with a wonderfully upper-class portrayal of that “perfectly horrible woman”.

Director Jon Elphick created just the right mix of tension, terror and anticipation and his brilliant set design with snow outside the window made it impossible not feel in the depths of a bleak English winter storm – a perfect setting for murder!

In an apparent Agatha Christie tradition, the audience was asked after he bows not to reveal the identity of the murderer. I certainly won’t, but I do heartily recommend attending the Belconnen Theatre just to find out “whodunit”!

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