“The Mousetrap,” a whodunit by the inimitable Agatha Christie and holder of the world record for longest, continuously running play of any kind, will celebrate its 60th anniversary in November at St. Martin’s Theatre in London’s West End. To commemorate this theatrical milestone, Costa Rica’s own Little Theatre Group has decided to restage this country-house murder mystery at the Laurence Olivier Theater, where the group first produced it in 1992.
“The Mousetrap” began life as a short radio play called “Three Blind Mice” that was broadcast in honor of Queen Mary, consort of King George V. Christie based the play on the real-life story of a boy who died while in the foster care of a farmer and his wife. She requested that the story not be published while her play was still running, and that no film adaptation be produced until six months after the stage production closed.
Christie never expected “The Mousetrap” to run for more than a few months. Over the years it has become something of a cult, and even spawned a theatrical education charity, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, that gives young people the opportunity to experience London’s theater scene.
Directed by Ann Antkiw, the play is set at Monkswell Manor guest house, home of Giles (played by Alain Norman), and wife Mollie (Siobhan Murphy). It’s a snowy English winter in 1952, and as the guests arrive, they hear on the radio that a woman has been murdered in London, and the police are looking for the murderer. The first guest to arrive at Monkswell Manor is Christopher Wren (Adrián Segura), a nervous, eccentric young man. He is followed by Mrs. Boyle (Annette Hallett), a grumpy, demanding, older lady; a typical British officer, Major Metcalf (Dave Nisson); Miss Casewell (Silvia Schneegans), a young lady with a shady past; and Mr. Paravicini (Joseph Loveday), a suspicious Italian gentleman who arrives unexpectedly. The guests are snowed in, and Sgt. Trotter (Luis Baltodano), a young policeman, arrives on skis, announcing he suspects the murderer is among them. Anyone could be the next victim and the grueling cat-and-mouse game begins, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats for the rest of the play.
Amateur sleuth are sure to enjoy guessing “whodunit” in this mystery about a diabolical killer on the loose. Because of the surprise ending, the audience will be sworn to secrecy from giving away any clues and revealing the identity of the killer.
“The Mousetrap” opens March 16 for three weekends at the Laurence Olivier Theater in San José, at Avenida 2, Calle 28, next to the Sala Garbo. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. For reservations, call 8858-1446 or go to www.littletheatregroup.org.