REVIEW: The Mousetrap, Sunderland Empire, until Saturday, May 9

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap
Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap
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AFTER watching The Mousetrap, it comes as no surprise that the play is celebrating a record-breaking run of 63 years in the West End.

The murder mystery play written by English crime novelist, Agatha Christie, which has been performed more than 25,000 times, is like nothing else in theatre.

The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap

And now regional audiences are getting the chance to see a touring version of the original production, which opened in 1952.

A lot of people have wondered what’s the success behind the longevity of this play and I believe it’s most certainly the audience. From the moment you sit down to watch this production, little do you know you’ve signed up to be a partner in crime.

Before you know it you’re a keeper of the sordid secret, the murderer’s right-hand man. And while the first thing you want to do is spill the beans, the real thrill lies in watching others squirm with guesses of who the killer could be.

It’s hard to review something when you’ve been sworn to secrecy. So, sorry to disappoint, but the key ending is “locked in our hearts” and revealing that to you all would be the worst kind of crime.

The play itself is like watching a life-sized version of Cluedo. Was it Miss Casewell in the library with a pipe? Or Christopher Wren in the drawing room with a candlestick? What about Giles Ralston in the cellar with a rope? Or could it be Mrs Boyle in the kitchen with a gun? Throughout the play your mind is constantly ticking away with accusations.

Although the big showdown will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, watching the characters unravel with nerves, letting slip their identities and discussing their dark pasts is a rather exciting guessing game.

From nail biting moments and nerve-shredding music to brilliantly intricate characters and cryptic messages - with the odd couple of red herrings thrown into the mix.

Every twist within the plot is crucial and will keep you shuddering in suspense, if not, trying your best not to shout out who you think the killer is - and trust me you’ll be wrong.

If curiosity has got the better of you, let’s see if you can crack the case of The Mousetrap and guess whodunit first.