To celebrate its Platinum Jubilee (that’s 70 years!) the longest-running and most beloved play in the world is HERE in Sydney for its Australian debut. As they say, don’t just see it – solve it. Think you can figure out the mystery?
Outside, it’s dreary and cold. It’s that darn La Niña making her presence known as we were told she would this summer. Inside, though, in the light-flooded theatre, guests are chatting with their sparkling wine in hand and the queue for the bar bustles briskly. It’s festive and lively, and people are smiling; they’re happy to be out. Red carpets, a helix of staircases and gold frills lend a glamour to this venue that’s very befitting of the particular event we’ve all come to see tonight – Mousetrap, the classic whodunnit by Dame Agatha Christie. A novelist outsold only by Shakespeare and The Bible, we’re hopeful this one is one worthy of the buzz it’s getting.
Despite the robust attendance, there’s plenty of room for everyone and no ‘crammy’ feeling inside. Multiple entrance doors make it easy to access your seat, and the venue is accessible for wheelchairs, too. We loved arriving a bit early, grabbing a glass of wine from the (surprisingly well-stocked) bar and people-watching from our perch upstairs. We also checked out where we were sitting because we haven’t been to the Theatre Royal since it reopened. We’re hoping they haven’t stuffed in more rows at the cost of less comfort and happily, there’s plenty of legroom even for the Mr who’s 190cm. Yay for space!
But the play, let’s get down to it. It’s why we’ve come, after all. The action is centred on a group of characters that find themselves stuck in a guesthouse, Monkswell Manor, amidst an unrelenting snowstorm. A local woman has been murdered, and soon the seven strangers realise that the killer is amongst them. As suspicions set in, a police detective arrives on skis to begin examining the suspects: two loved-up newlyweds, perhaps a bit too perfect; an architect with a fake name; a barrister with a penchant for malice; an Army Major relishing his retirement; a mysterious foreign gate-crasher and an unmarried (horrors!) lass who takes not one iota of cheek from anyone. All the right ingredients are there – murder, romance, and humour. Add a dollop of peculiarity and a dash of some seriously talented actors, and it’s an earnestly charming entertainer. The two-hour run time flies by. Do we recommend it? We definitely do.
“But what stupendous good fortune! What an answer to prayer. A guest house, and a charming hostess. My Rolls Royce, alas, has run into a snowdrift. blinding snow everywhere. I do not know where I am.”-Mr. Paravicini, Mousetrap
But that travel twist? Make the most of being in Sydney no matter if it’s the place you call home or if you’re in town visiting. Taking inspiration from the Discover The Secrets of Sydney Map uncover facts about the suspects and the city itself. We bet you’ll find tucked-away treasures you never knew existed.
Mousetrap at Sydney Theatre Royal 108 King St, Sydney NSW 2000
Wednesday – Sunday, shows at 1pm and 7pm most days (check website and book tickets HERE) Tickets from $69 to $139. The show runs through 30 October, so don’t delay in booking your tickets to avoid disappointment.