It’s the world’s best-known whodunit, and the Chemainus Theatre Festival is promising an evening of drama, humour and suspense when you head into the house for Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.
“I’ve had lots of subscribers tell me they are really looking forward to the mystery,” said director Mark DuMez.
“They know it’s a classic, yet many have never seen it. We haven’t seen a murder mystery on our stage since 2008 and I’m excited to look at the mystery of our mortality through Christie’s eyes.”
It’s not the first time the play has come to the Chemainus Theatre, enjoying its first run in 1999, but considering that it’s run for more than 60 consecutive years in London, it’s guaranteed to still hit the spot with audiences in 2015
. It’s also, the theatre’s marketing manager Michelle Vogelgesang said in a press release for the show, one of the theatre’s most requested plays for a return engagement.
The play is set in Britain in the 1950s, “where people are recovering from the upheaval of war and strangers are perceived with great suspicion.”
It is in this atmosphere that newlyweds Mollie and Giles welcome a group of strangers to their guesthouse, Monkswell Manor, where a snowstorm traps them in and they discover there’s a murderer among them.
The suspect list encompasses everyone in the house with the hosts including a tomboy, retired Army major, a young man running from something, a critical older woman, a lost motorist and a police detective.
“As the investigation unfolds, sordid details from each guest’s mysterious past begin to unravel,” promises Vogelgesang.
The cast includes Pattie Allan, Jay Clift, Chris Cope, Bernard Cuffling, Victor Dolhai, Matthew Hendrickson, Ruby Joy, and Leala Selina.
Joy, who portrays tomboy Miss Casewell in the show, is at the Chemainus Theatre Festival for the first time after having been in shows from London to New York and Stratford.
She was immediately impressed by the quality of the writing in the The Mousetrap.
“I’m really excited to be doing the show,” said Joy. “It’s such proof of Agatha Christie’s genius. The play is a great example of what made her and continues to make her a great writer.”
What jumped out to her right away was “the amazing characters that she [Christie] puts on stage”.
In many murder mysteries the characters can be two-dimensional stereotypes, Joy said, but Christie has elevated the status quo.
“Agatha Christie makes these characters three-dimensional,” she said. “It’s sort of a great combo platter of humanity. There will definitely be people that you recognize.”
It’s also a first-rate mystery that will keep you guessing, she said.
“You really don’t know who the guilty party is,” Joy said. “I hope that it’s split. You always want, in a murder mystery, people to be divided over who they think the murderer is. Hopefully 95 per cent of the people are still going ‘oh it could be her, or it could be him’.”
The show opened Friday and runs until May 30. Tickets information is available by calling 1-800-565-7738.