Agatha Christie’s murder mystery The Mousetrap opened in London’s West End in 1952 and has been running continuously since that date, making it the longest running play in history.
The play actually had its origins in a 1947 radio play entitled Three Blind Mice. The stage play was retitled The Mousetrap before its West End opening due to another famous play entitled Three Blind Mice that had run prior to World War II.
The premise is basic – a group of strangers are stranded in a newly opened guesthouse due to fierce winter conditions. Over the radio, they learn of a nearby murder. Soon a police sergeant arrives (on skis) to question the guests. All action takes place in the U.K. countryside.
Now playing at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, The Mousetrap has lost none of the charm that made it famous.
Emma Baker and David Moreland play the young married couple Molllie and Giles Ralston who own the guesthouse where the action takes place. They both provide memorable performances.
The first guest to arrive is Christopher Wren, a hyperactive yet diminutive young man of 22 played very effectively by Colin Lawrence.
Mrs. Boyle, a bitter older woman played excellently by Julie Partyka, and an aloof retired army officer Major Metcalf played by Rian Jairell arrive next in a shared taxi.
Kate Incardona plays Miss Casewell, a sexually charged stranger who speaks often of her troubled childhood. Wrapping up the guest list is Guy Wicke as an odd foreigner by the name of Mr. Paravicini.
The last to arrive to the scene is Detective Sergeant Trotter played by Mac Westcott. And then the detective work begins.
The who done it keeps the audience guessing throughout the night of entertainment. While Lawrence and Wicke are the strongest actors in the bunch, the entire ensemble works well together to deliver a very enjoyable production.
The play is directed by Joe Lehman who had done an excellent job moving the chess pieces about the board throughout the night.
Dialect coach Saren Nofs Snyder has helped sculpt a living piece of art.
Scenic design by Jeremy Hollis is brought to life by master carpenter Stan Hicks.
The Mousetrap plays Thursdays through Sundays through March 16at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre located at 111 West Campbell Street in beautiful Arlington Heights. Evening performances start at 7:30 PM, Saturday and Sunday matinees start at 3:00 PM. There are select Wednesday showings at 1:00 PM.
There is ample free parking on the street and in a public garage behind the theater.
For a full schedule of dates and for ticket information visit MetroplisArts.com or call the box office at (847) 577-2121.