From October 14-17, Concordia’s theater department put on Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”
The show was open from Thursday night until the afternoon of Sunday. The show was sold out every night. From where I sat on that Thursday night, I saw a simple play turn into something I sat on the edge of my seat for. “The Mousetrap” was exciting, funny and at times relatable. As it is the month of October, performing a murder mystery is, in my opinion, the perfect way to celebrate Halloween.
The play begins with Mrs. Ralston (played by Madeline Whittely) tidying the living room of the bed and breakfast that she and her husband opened for the first time. On the radio, she hears of a murder that happened in London. Soon after, her guests start to arrive. One after the other, they all start to settle into the bed and breakfast for the night. The audience learns of a snowstorm that is starting to block roads and keep people from getting anywhere.
Right away, the set pieces added a lot to the performance. Along with the costumes, they solidified the time period. I adored the skirts that Mrs. Ralston wore, and the mink Mrs. Boyle wears added clear definition to the character.
One character that made me laugh the most was Christopher Wren, played by Jackson Peterson. His interaction with the audience and his overall delivery was on point.
The guests of the bed and breakfast become comfortable in their new surrounding only to have all of their comfort ripped away from them when they hear of the murder, and that one of the guests committed it.
Kiley Snobeck gave an incredible performance of Mrs. Boyle. It is hard to portray a character that everyone hates, but she did so in style.
After a policeman (Carlos O’Ryan) arrives at the house by way of skis, the characters all partake in seemingly guilty behaviors: turning away, appearing agitated and lying about their whereabouts and knowledge of the case. It is not until someone in the party is murdered that tension becomes truly unbearable.
However, the second act is when the audience learns of the characters’ backgrounds. Ties form and break, and in classic whodunit fashion, no one is who they seem to be.
There is a stark difference between the first and second act — one filled with laughter, the other with shivers. Fortunately, for the performance I went to, the audience was captivated so much that I could feel the chills everyone got.
The performers did an amazing job to give Christie’s play the credit it deserves.