“THE MOUSETRAP” IS AN ENGAGING MYSTERY

By Bonnie Goldberg

Imagine you are playing a game of Clue and you have narrowed the suspects down to Colonel Mustard or Miss Plum, in the dining room or kitchen, with a lead pipe or a rope.  With mystery in mind, assemble your Sherlock Holmes evidence gathering techniques, magnifying glass and fingerprint dusting kit, and present yourself at the Square One Theatre, 2422 Main Street, Stratford weekends until Saturday, November 20.

Engage yourself in the analytical mind of a crafty Agatha Christie who penned “The Mousetrap,” which has been performed in London’s West End since 1952, the longest running play in the world, with over 23,000 performances and still going strong.

With a snowstorm swirling around them, Mollie and Giles Ralston (Samantha Zayas and Matthew K. Gutierrez) are eagerly awaiting their first paying guests at their newly opened bed and breakfast guesthouse, Monkswell Manor, outside London.  Married for a year, they are anxious to greet Mrs. Boyle (Davina Porter) who is the contessa of complainers, Christopher Wren (Aubrey Kyburz) who flits around finding favor with everything, especially his cooking skills, Major Metcalf (Joseph Mallon) who uses his precise military attitude to keep things in order, Miss Casewell (Janet Rathert) who clearly wants her privacy and the best accommodations and the stranger Mr. Paravicini (Barry Hatrick) who claims the storm blew him into the inn for sanctuary.

When a news broadcast on the radio announces the vicious murder of a London woman and a killer on the loose, the phone rings and Mollie learns a policeman is headed to their inn, on skis, because it is strongly suspected that the murderer is one of the guests.

The detective sergeant (Jeremy Funke) arrives and brings his decisive practical efficiency to the question:  is there really a killer among them?  Suspicions and accusations are bandied about as the children’s nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice” is played on the piano and whistled into the wind.  By the time Act I ends, Mrs. Boyle is dead, Mollie screams and the real mystery begins.

Tom Holehan directs this fine community cast in this most engrossing of theatrical experiences.  The audience is requested not to disclose who the murderer is, no matter how tempting it might be.

For tickets ($20, senior citizens and students $19), call Square One Theatre Company at 203-375-8778 or go online at www.squareonetheatre.com.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., with a special twilight matinee at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 20.

Let that queen of mystery Agatha Christie challenge your detective solving skills in discovering which guest or host is guilty of one of the most popular whodunits of all time.

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