“Mousetrap” keeps audiences guessing

susanne_albaitis The world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” is now showing on Grand Rapids Civic Theater’s stage.  This same play has been running continuously in London’s West End for sixty-three years.  Christie adapted the play from a radio show called “Three Blind Mice.”


The curtains open to a very impressive set.  Two open arches, two arched doorways, thick wooden trim, period furniture and snow falling outside the window take the audience to an English inn so many decades ago.  All of these details bring the viewers into the scene and make the characters even more believable.

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Nervous house guests try to survive a vacation that’s become murder.

A radio broadcast sets the stage with a startling bit of information that a murderer is close by.  A pledge is exacted from the audience to keep the ending a secret, then the play jumps right into the first murder scene.  The audience is left with an eerie whistling of “Three Blind Mice” and the guessing begins.


We are introduced to each of the inn’s guests one at a time.  Wren, an odd, child-like architect, is the first guest to arrive.  He brings comic relief to every scene, but also great suspicion because of his attachment to nursery rhymes, like “Three Blind Mice.”


Mrs. Boyle and Major Metcalf are next to arrive, followed by Miss Casewell and then Mr. Paravicini.  Some of the guests have reservations and a few do not.  As each guest arrives, many suspicious hints are given.  And each is dressed exactly as the murderer is described on the radio report. No one is quite who they appear to be. Everyone has secrets.


Like other Christie tales, everyone is trapped in the same house with no way to call for help. Yet it’s frighteningly clear the murderer is among them. And then what happens…?


Come enjoy the suspense that has made “The Mousetrap” London’s longest running play.  The play runs January 16 – February 1.  Show times are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 PM; Sundays matinee at 2 PM.