“The Mousetrap” at Liverpool Empire

QUIDUNNIT? I don’t tell…

Agatha Christies 1952 Murder Masterpiece The Mouse Trap is now 70 years old and is currently touring the UK to – appropriately – 70 venues.

This bubbly traveling production from Adam Spiegel directed by Ian Talbot and Denise Silvey is a celebration of good old-fashioned traditional theater capturing the true essence of the famous writer’s gift for unraveling intricate plots and capturing unforgettable characters.

Add some soap opera and sitcom stage and screen stars to this tour and you’ll see murder mystery at its finest.

The Mousetrap’s reputation goes proudly before it.

The timeless novelty is that the audience has sworn to secrecy – promising from the aisles not to reveal the ending. I will also be true to my word. Audience members and I certainly enjoyed being a detective for the night – weighing up the red herrings along the way.

The only way to discover crime fiction is to “go see it”.

So what is the mousetrap about?

Against a sumptuous grand backdrop, we enter the Monkswell Manor guesthouse where a diverse assortment of paying visitors are snowed in unaware that a murderer is on the loose.

Will he knock again?

Hosts Mollie (Joelle Dyson) and her husband Giles (Laurence Pears) have been married for a year and fear their joint B&B venture may take off, especially with such a grim cloud of news in the air.

Step into a wide range of guests with emotional baggage: Camp Christopher Wren (Elliot Clay) deemed “peculiar” by the cold and austere Mrs. Boyle (Gwyneth Strong – Casandra de Only fools and horses); EastEnders stars Todd Carty is Major Metcalf and John Altman is Mr. Paravicini while Essie Barrow plays the enigmatic Miss Casewell.

Everything takes on extra movement when Detective Sergeant Trotter arrives on the scene. Here, Joseph Reed plays the garish and energized brass.

There’s plenty of humor throughout and the beautifully paced two and a half hour drama leading up to the now famous Shhh! … end.

If you have never seen The Mouse Trap before you get carried away with this one – a truly splendid atmospheric release for all ages to enjoy.

Globe verdict: five stars

Magical Mystery Tour!

Production is at the Empire in Liverpool until Saturday (November 12)

Tickets on 0844 871 7615

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