The Alfred State Drama Club will present the play Mousetrap, at the Lake Lodge, Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. followed by an opening night reception; Friday, April 13, a dinner theater performance at Lake Lodge, with dinner beginning at 6 p.m.; and Saturday, April 14, 7 p.m. Cost is $2 for students, $5 for the general public. Cost for the dinner theater performance is $18 per person. A bus will provide transportation between Lake Lodge and Alfred State campus.
This British murder mystery, written by Agatha Christie, is the longest-running show in modern history, celebrating its 60th anniversary of continual showings since it first opened in London’s West End in 1952.
The play’s characters include Mollie and Giles Ralston, husband-and-wife proprietors of Monkswell Manor; Christopher Wren, a hyperactive young man who acts peculiarly. Mrs. Boyle, a critical older woman who is pleased by nothing; Major Metcalf, retired from the army, though little else is known about him; Miss Casewell, a strange, aloof, masculine woman who speaks offhandedly about the horrific experiences of her childhood; Mr. Paravicini, a man of unknown provenance, who turns up claiming his car has overturned in a snowdrift; and Detective Sergeant Trotter, a policeman who arrives on skis due to the snow storm, saying he has come to protect the guests from a murderer.
The play begins late one afternoon. The Ralstons’ first four guests arrive: Christopher Wren, Mrs. Boyle, Major Metcalf, and Miss Casewell. An unexpected guest, Mr. Paravicini, immediately makes his hosts uneasy. The group, snowed in together, read in the newspaper that a woman has been murdered in London.
The next day, the police call on the phone, causing great alarm among the guests. Detective Sergeant Trotter arrives to inform the group that he believes a murderer is at large and on the way to the Manor, following the murder in London. When one of the guests is killed, the group realizes that the murderer is already present among them.
Within minutes, the investigation begins. Each character is scrutinized and suspected. It quickly becomes obvious that the killer could be any one of the guests, or even the hosts themselves. The characters re-enact the second murder, trying to prevent a third.
At last, Sergeant Trotter assembles everyone in the hall with a plan to set a trap for one of the suspects. The murderer’s identity is divulged near the end of the play.
By tradition, at the end of each performance, audiences are asked not to reveal the identity of the killer to anyone outside the theatre, to ensure that the end of the play is not spoiled for future audiences. Want to know whodunit? Join Alfred State’s Drama Club for its spring performance!