The Mousetrap
by Hollidaysburg Area Repertory Players

It’s been running continuously in London since it opened in 1952, over 20,000 productions – the longest opening run in the history of theatre. It’s the classic whodunit written by the most famous mystery writer of all time, Agatha Christie. It’s The Mousetrap.

The setting is a new bed-and-breakfast in the fictional Monkswell Manor where a young couple, married just a year, is about to receive their first hotel guests. But as those guests begin to filter in, ominous radio reports are rolling in of a murder in London. Even more ominous is the snowstorm rolling in that conveniently traps them all together. The uneasiness rises as the young couple meets their eccentric, somewhat mysterious guests. One of those guests is about to be murdered, and if they can’t figure out who did it, more murders may be yet to come…

The Hollidaysburg Area Repertory Players put on this show in their spacious high school theatre nestled within the picturesque town of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. The players are led by Zach Weirich and Lindsay Satryan as Giles and Molly Ralston, the young couple who scarcely knew each other when they tied the knot, and who are now taking on the added stress of starting their new hotel business. You feel some tension and nervousness between them from the beginning, but the stress is compounds dramatically as their eccentric and irritating guests begin arriving. And, of course, even more so when the murder takes place. Lindsay imbues her character with good, youthful vulnerability and just enough courage to stand up for those who need her help. As Giles, Zach is compelling throughout as his patience runs thin and the pressure builds.

And then there are the guests who are wearing on Giles’ patience. Sarah Gore deftly amuses as the exotic and flamboyant Paravicini who clearly is enjoying the crisis, or at least enjoying the novelty of the crisis, as it deepens and darkens. Sarah Averill nicely captures the other end of the spectrum as Miss Casewell, an intelligent yet mysteriously aloof young woman. Sean Wilson is Christopher Wren, his body language, speech, and mannerisms helping to create the socially awkward character who is finding it difficult to fit in with the world – a young man who is still lost in a difficult childhood. Mike Rupp is Major Metcalf, the seemingly normal one in the group. Emily Rickens is perfectly obnoxious as the ever-complaining Mrs. Boyle who quickly irritates almost everyone. No one sheds many tears when she is discovered dead. CJ Buskey is the eager detective who skis in to the manor with the dire warning that someone there may be a murderer, and then grows manically obsessed with exposing the killer.

Director Russell Stiles’ show flows smoothly and the ensembles work well together in creating the tension and confusion of strangers held captive together. They also do quite well in maintaining their various English accents. It all takes place within an impressive set – the interior of a large, comfortable English home that is about to turn into a very large, uncomfortable English mousetrap.

Performed February 28 - March 1, 2008.

Rob Hopper
Executive Director
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Molly Ralston: Lindsay Satryan
Giles Ralston: Zach Weirich
Christopher Wren: Sean Wilson
Mrs. Boyle: Emily Rickens
Major Metcalf: Mike Rupp
Miss Casewell: Sarah Averill
Mr. Paravicini: Sarah Gore
Detective Sergeant Trotter: CJ Buskey
Voice on the Radio: Derrick Fogle

Director: Russell Stiles


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