I love a good whodunit! So what better way to spend the evening and get in a first too, than seeing Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, presented by Joplin Little Theater.
Agatha Christie, considered the queen of the murder mystery, wrote this drama which was originally titled Three Blind Mice. The name was changed to The Mousetrap when it opened in London’s West End in 1952, and it has been playing ever since, making it the longest running play of any type, in modern history. I was excited to learn the play was being performed in Joplin.
The cast gave an outstanding performance. The play is set in Monkswell Manor, near London and I was impressed with the actors’ abilities to pull off authentic sounding accents! During a snowstorm, guests at Monkswell Manor are stranded. There are murders to solve and a murderer to catch. The set was excellent and the characters well developed. I laughed. I clapped. Mostly, though, I sat captivated, watching and listening intently, collecting clues. That’s the real thrill of the whodunit. Is she who she says she is? Is he telling the truth? What fun to keep a mental tally of who was who and figure out, along with the audience, who did the wicked deed.
This play perfected the “plot twist” with its ending, shocking attendees back in its early days of production. Audiences continue to be cautioned against giving away the ending and revealing who the killer is. Did I correctly guess the identity of the murderer? I did, although I was prepared until the very end, to be wrong. Will I reveal who did it? Never!