[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/85184?ns=guardian&pageName=From+the+archive%3A+The+Mousetrap+%E2%80%93+new+comedy-thriller+by+Agatha+Christie%3AArticle%3A1310673&ch=Books&c3=Guardian&c4=Agatha+Christie+%28Author%29%2CTheatre%2CStage%2CBooks&c6=&c7=09-Nov-27&c8=1310673&c9=Article&c10=&c11=Books&c13=From+the+archive+%28series%29&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FBooks%2FAgatha+Christie[/img]Originally published on 27 November 1952
As the snow piles up around the isolated guest-house in "The Mousetrap," at the Ambassadors Theatre, the false clues drift across the stage, deluding the less alert in the audience and appearing to deceive characters in the play who ought to know better. Agatha Christie's comedy-thriller, like a more expensive production which Miss Tallulah Bankhead once commented on, has "less in it than meets the eye." Coincidence is stretched unreasonably to assemble in one place a group of characters each of whom may reasonably be suspected of murder in series. One killing happens in a black-out at the rise of the curtain, another at the end of the first act, and the third is unconvincingly forestalled in time for the end of the second (and last) act.
Yet the whole thing whizzed along as though driven by some real dramatic force, as though the characters were not built entirely of cliches and the situations not all familiar. There is the masculine young woman (Jessica Spencer); here as her foil is the effeminate young man (Allan McClelland); and all over the place are the comic major, by Aubrey Dexter, and the suspiciously articulate foreigner (Martin Miller). Richard Attenborough plays an unconventional police-sergeant on skis and Sheila Sim a guest-house keeper in a leopard skin skirt, a good looker but a bad cook – almost too true to life to be borne by anybody who has ever stayed in a quiet hotel. John Paul and Mignon O'Doherty, the strong silent host and the voluble doomed guest, round off a company which makes the most of a middling piece. G. F.
[This play continues the world's longest initial run.]
"Britain is not finished" – envoy's parting message
WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 26.
Sir Oliver Franks, the outgoing British Ambassador, in a farewell speech to United States journalists at the National Press Club here today, said: "It is not true and will not be true that Britain is finished."
The ship was "in better shape than before." Today "we are making ends meet. But it is still true that our economy is not sufficiently strong to play our just part in the world to secure sanity and freedom among the nations. I do not mistake the progress we have made for the final accomplishments. I think we shall go on living in this great plateau of tension for many years as we have to deal with people who believe fanatically in false beliefs." But he added: "Things will get better as we go along, and not worse."
Sir Oliver had paid a farewell visit to President Truman.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
View the full article
Guardian: From the archive: The Mousetrap – new comedy-thriller by Agatha Christie
No replies to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users