Category Archives: Theatre

The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap is the longest-running show in the history of theatre, with over 26,000 performances in London since it opened in the West End in 1952.

The play recently went on tour to celebrate its 60th anniversary, allowing people to see Agatha Christie’s famous murder-mystery at local theatres. Now the tour is back by popular demand!

Our journalist Tom Milsted visited Aylesbury Waterside Theatre to give his verdict.

The Mousetrap

“The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be?

One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.

In her own inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie has created an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner.”

– from the official tour website: mousetrapontour.com

The moment the curtains are raised, you cannot help but be struck by the immersive feel of the set.

True to the London original’s design, you feel you’re inside this creaky, dull-lit guest house . You’re not so much as fly on the wall as sat on the sofa next to a dysfunctional group of possible murderers.

The plot is deeply involving, with a stunning climax. There are sterling performances from all, especially the detestable Mrs. Boyle, the melodramatic but charming Mr. Paravicini, and the initially irritating but ultimately lovable Christopher Wren.

Go to see this long running piece of British heritage as it tours the UK, but remember to “keep the secret of ‘whodunit’ locked in your hearts.”

Tom Milsted

With thanks to Alison Trimming at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

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Goodnight Mister Tom

Goodnight Mr Tom Poster

‘This beautiful play is a roller-coaster of emotion.’

Written by David Wood from the novel by Michelle Magorian, Goodnight Mister Tom tells the story of young London boy William Beech, evacuated to Dorset during WW2 to escape from the bombing.

William (Alex Taylor-McDowall) is lodged with Mr Tom Oakley (David Troughton) and his dog Sammy. Mr Tom is portrayed as a slightly gruff widower, who soon realises that William has been physically and mentally abused.

As the relationship develops he helps him to read and write and encourages him to make friends with fellow evacuee, Zach: a fun-loving and humorous boy.

William’s mother asks for him to return home to London, only for him to be abused again and discover he has a baby sister. Tom writes to William but gets no reply and, suitably worried, travels to London to find him tied up under the stairs with his dead sister in his arms.

William is sent to hospital to recover. Faced with the threat of an orphanage for William, Tom rescues him and takes him back to Dorset. The authorities eventually agree that Tom can adopt William, to everyone’s delight. William also endures being told of the subsequent death of his mother and his best friend Zach, when Zach goes back to London to see his sick father.

This is a sad tale of a young boy suffering abuse from a deranged mother, and finding a loving family and developing wonderful friendships. You are also able to understand Mr Tom’s life and the death of his own wife and baby son. On several occasions you can sense the raw emotion, accompanied by complete silence from the audience.

Bryan Parker and Laurence Doyle

Watch this play at the following theatres:

Woking New Victoria Theatre 19 – 23 Apr 2016

Theatre Royal Bath 26 – 30 Apr 2016

With thanks to Alison Trimming at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

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