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L.A. Beat

Playgoers to trap the audience with laughs in the Mousetrap

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The Playgoers of Lethbridge are getting excited about their production of  Agatha Christie’s famous 1950’s murder mystery the Mousetrap, Feb. 3-6 at the Yates Theatre.
Jeff Graham rehearses the role of Paravicini in the Mousetrap. Photo by Richard Amery“The Mousetrap is about a group of eccentric  guests gathered at a guesthouse in Southwestern England in 1952. They’re trapped by a snowstorm and they find it is likely one of them is a murderer when one of them is murdered,”  director Eric Low summarized.
“I’ve directed it before — just  over 20 years ago. I wanted to get it right this time,” laughed Low, who is enjoying working with an enthusiastic young cast of eight including four university of Lethbridge drama students. Most of the cast are new to the Playgoers.
“We’re lucky to have a very talented  group of actors. Every time we give them something to do, they do it and say ‘what else?’” he said  adding he was inspired to give the Mousetrap another shot after seeing an episode of Dr. Who featuring the character of Agatha Christie which reminded him how entertaining her characters are.
“Playgoers have been doing a lot of farces lately, so we thought we’d do a murder mystery that was a farce,” he said describing the characters as eccentric and entertaining.
“We’re going to take the eccentricities of the characters and punch them up. We’re also going to  bring a few film noir techniques to the lighting if we can manage that,” he said adding for example, one character Christopher Wren (played by Andrew Merrigan) is  pretty flamboyant, so he is going to be changing scarves every scene. And Miss Casewell (played by Christina Haska) is abrupt, so  she is even more abrupt. Plus Giles Ralston (Craig McCue) is obsessed with the guests’ luggage, so he is even more obsessed in this production.
“The play takes place in 1952 so it’s still in the shadow of  World War Two with rationing and life was not easy,” he continued adding costumes will also be 50’s style, though not drab grey and browns, but with lots of colours.(left to right) Angela Gabert, playing Mollie Ralston; Christina Haska, playing Miss Casewell; (standing) Justin Masson, playing Sgt. Trotter rehearse for the Mousetrap. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s been remarkable how close this cast has become with each other. Because they genuinely enjoy each others’ company. They’ll make each other miserable but  they’ll help each other out,” he laughed adding there have been many creative ideas explored for this production of the Mousetrap.
“ I think the biggest challenge has been sorting through all of those ideas and all of the possibilities and selecting the ones that worked. We had it taking place on a desert island. We didn’t do that but the fact we explored that ideas says something about the creative approach we took,” he continued.
The Mousetrap takes place  Feb. 3-6 at the Yates Theatre. The show is at 8 p.m. every night. Tickets cost $20 from the Ticket Centre, Yates Theatre or Enmax Centre.
 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor.
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