Dame Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap is the longest, continuously running play of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Running since 1952 in London would make it an intimidating play to take on, but the Hilberry Theatre Company pulls it off wonderfully. The acting, the set, and costumes are captivating and well done.
Before the show even starts, the audience is greeted with the magnificent set of Monkswell Manor Guest House in London, England. Vintage furniture fills a sitting room with walls of cherry wood. Through the windows, the bare trees and falling snow are visible. The Ralston's, Mollie and Giles, enter first. Megan Dobbertin and Alec Barbour, who respectively play each character, have great stage chemistry and work very well together. Dobbertin is especially wonderful with her subtle body language the really brings across the emotions of her character.
Topher Payne portrays Christopher Wren and is one of the two actors that steal the show. Edmund Alyn Jones who plays Mr. Mustapha is the other. These two actors deliver their lines in such a way that each one is memorable. They fully transformed into their characters not letting any aspect fall under par. Payne pulls off a boisterous, happy, young man with ease and brings laughter with every moment. Jones is just spectacular in every way. His character is fully developed down to every little mannerism and he delivers his lines with such preciseness that it just enhances the performance.
Vanessa Sawson, Danielle Cochrane, Joshua Blake Rippy, and Christoper Call, who all bring their characters to life very well, round out the cast. Sawson's Mrs. Boyle is humorous and very British old lady-like who makes the viewer forget they are watching a young woman under all that make-up and grey-haired wig. Cochrane's acting skills really stand out with her subtleness and honesty. It is the little aspects that she does that brings her character, Miss Casewell, to life. Rippy's Major Metcalf is smart and even when not in the forefront, his character is not lost within the scene. Call does as wonderful job as Dectective Sergeant Trotter, keeping his character honest and constantly developing through the show.
Director David J. Magidson had a great vision for the show. The entire capacity of the stage is used well by both the actors and the set. The show is staged in an exciting way allowing the audience to feel like they are looking into a window watching the action unfold. Michael J. Barnes, the dialect coach, did wonders with the actors. Their accents and speaking are exceptional throughout the entirety of the show. John D. Woodland's costumes are worth a mention because they are gorgeous and fit the time frame perfectly. It is the little details of them that really catch the eye and stand out.
The Mousetrap is definitely worth a trip to The Hilberry Theatre. It is a grand production that lives up to the long-running play and a cast that should not be missed. But remember the unspoken rule of the show: keep the secret!
The Mousetrap opened September 21st and runs through October 13th. For more information or tickets, visit www.hilberry.com or call 313.577.2972.