Theatre Review: The Mousetrap at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Ever since Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap first asked audiences ‘whodunnit’ back in 1952, it has been a hit. This new touring production at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre is a real treat, allowing those who – whether for the first time or for the twenty-first time – want to experience a murder mystery like no other a little close to home.
The set is a familiar one (especially if you have seen the London production as it is, as far as I could tell, identical), as is the setting: an old country house, a mish-mash of strange and highly suspicious people thrown together by chance (or are they?), and the doughty policeman who has to try to stop a murder from being committed. Spoiler (the only one, don’t worry): he does not succeed.
Which is good news for the audience since the murder, why it is committed, and who does it, is what this play is all about. Watching my fellow audience members, their faces rapt with concentration, occasional whispers suggesting one character or another, knowing looks or shoulder shrugs depending on whether the person being whispered to knew the answer or not, was also part of the fun, and if you do go to see the show (which I recommend) don’t forget to look around you and see what other people might be thinking. It’s highly entertaining. When the murderer is revealed there was an audible gasp from the audience which must have pleased the players no end.
As is the play itself. Sticking to the original with poise and precision, each character is a perfect study in human nature. Added together they could be any one of us, and individually we can all recognise certain traits, whether we like the idea or not.
The ensemble was a highly accomplished one, with each actor putting forth a stellar performance. Special credit has to go, in my opinion, to Lewis Chandler who plays Christopher Wren. The chance from jovial, silly, childlike boy to scared, lost, serious man was heartbreaking, and understandable.
The Mousetrap plays at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley until 16th March, and tickets can be purchased here: https://churchilltheatre.co.uk/Online/tickets-mousetrap-bromley-2019.