See How They Run: Murder Makes Its Way to the IRT
BY ROSS REAGAN
This just in from the wireless: IRT closes its season with a murderer on the loose. The crime was committed at 24 Culver Street, Paddington by someone wearing a “dark overcoat, light scarf, and soft felt hat.” Scotland Yard is in a panic trying to locate the culprit, and it doesn’t help that the snow is heavy and the lights are dimmed. There’s also a strange melody playing in the music room:
Three blind mice,
Three blind mice,
See how they run . . .
I witnessed it all. Unfortunately I was sworn to secrecy so I cannot reveal the culprit. But here’s what I can tell you:
The Mousetrap has enough secrets to keep you on the edge of your seat as you enter the suspenseful world of playwright Agatha Christie. The residents of Monkswell Manor each enter with a seemingly innocent motive but enough quirks to keep your suspicions alive until the very end.
It’s the 1950’s. The owners Giles and Mollie Ralston have been married for just over a year and extend their English country home to a cast of colorful characters: an eccentric Christopher Wren, a weary-traveling Miss Casewell, a foreign Mr. Paravicini, a bitter, complaining Mrs. Boyle, and a curious Major Metcalf. All fall under the inspection of Detective Sergeant Trotter, who feverishly tries to save the residents from the homicidal maniac. As the blizzard roars incessantly, it becomes clear that everyone is stranded and danger is imminent.
Sound like fun? What unfolds is a delicious game of whodunit. The atmosphere of this whole creative design is contingent on one word: anticipation. Throw in a dash of British wit and humor alongside a masterfully constructed set, and you have the makings of a classic murder mystery.
There’s a reason why this show is the longest running play in history, and the IRT pays homage to the great popularity it brings to American audiences. Engaging spectators with a combination of comedy, drama, and an invitation to join in the mayhem makes for a spell-binding performance.
So here’s what I suggest. Don’t take any motive for granted. Look very closely at the flick of a newspaper. The folding of a coat. The lighting of a cigarette. One odd gesture could throw everything off.
Which is why I won’t reveal any more details as a safety precaution. I have a feeling it’s too dangerous.