Anyone who uses the excuse of having seen The Mousetrap already and not coming to the Devonshire Park this week is missing a real treat! This production opened its run in Eastbourne to a packed house – and deservedly so.  It is Agatha Christie at her very best and there must have been few in the audience who would disagree that it is indeed a great piece of theatrical history.

Despite the play celebrating a record breaking 63 year run, the brilliant performances given by the accomplished cast of eight were as fresh as if the play were new and not the institution that it has undoubtedly become.  Perhaps a tad formulaic and maybe reminiscent of a game of Cluedo (except in this instance we know where the murder takes place!) there are many twist and turns to keep the audience on its toes.  An impressive set of a rather grand 1950s country guest house, the odd moment of humour, elements of suspense and the rather worrying repetition of the music to ‘Three Blind Mice’ (is that gruesome tale really a nursery rhyme?) – all added up to a really entertaining evening at the theatre.

We were delighted to round this off by welcoming the entire cast and many members of the company to the theatre bar after the show.

Clockwise from the top:  Anne Kavanagh, Jonathan Sidgwick, Esther McCauley, understudy John Gould,  Luke Jenkins, William Ilkley, Edward Elgood, Hester Arden  with Mark Homer (Centre)

Clockwise from the top:
Anne Kavanagh, Jonathan Sidgwick, Esther McCauley, understudy John Gould,
Luke Jenkins, William Ilkley, Edward Elgood, Hester Arden
with Mark Homer (Centre)

 

Many of the actors were familiar faces in Eastbourne and for one it was the fourth time in five years that he had appeared on stage here.  Several had transferred to this touring production from the West End and others had been involved in a previous run of The Mousetrap at the Congress. They were all happy to mingle and chat with The Friends gathered in the bar making it a really happy ending to a highly entertaining evening.

Hester Arden

 

 

If members of the audience were party to what must be one of the best kept secrets in history, the collective intake of breath at the denouement would suggest otherwise.  Let the secret remain ‘locked in our hearts’!