“Mousetrap” puts a fun, modern twist on a complex murder mystery

The latest production by the Red Devil Dramatics included some unusual changes but did not disappoint


Mr. Maniglia

Senior Kevin Turkheimer and juniors Will Zakroff and Miranda Cruz in “Mousetrap”

Holly O'Donnell, Arts & Culture Writer

“Mousetrap,” a murder mystery by Agatha Christie, takes place at Monkswell Manor where seven people are stuck in a snowstorm when they hear that someone was killed the day everyone arrived at the manor — and that the next victim was going to be one of them.

And the murderer is among them.

Red Devil Dramatic performed Christie’s thriller last month with multiple casts, and the highly-anticipated performances were, as expected, excellent. The White cast did amazing, and I liked the fact that it was in a small room and it was very interactive; unlike in previous shows, which are often in the PAC, “Mousetrap” was performed in an intimate space in C120. The atmosphere of the scenery made the audience feel like they were part of the show. The cast even put its own modern twist on it with Taylor Swift’s songs throughout the play and used lighters for various scenes. 

The backdrops and scenery were true to Christie and it was well put together. It was a very small play with only eight main characters, and there were no background characters, which I think made it better because you got to know each character and backstories individually and they were all important in their own ways. The sets were very elaborate and you could tell it took time and a lot of effort to build. The costumes were very modern but true to the original play. 

The use of humor also lightened up the mood of the murder-mystery plot. Occasionally, the cast would bust out dancing to Taylor Swift, putting a modern twist on the story.

For the people in the back rows, it was very hard to see some parts and hear the things going on. They could have blocked off the seats or let people know in advance that they wouldn’t be able to see anything in the back.

“The play was an outstanding performance by everyone,” said RV freshman Ayan Qamar, “It was able to make a murder mystery into a sitcom in an instant. The ability to switch tones like that and still make it feel like one cohesive story, it was wild.” 

I asked around and got a behind the scenes perspective on what it was like getting into character, preparing, what the rehearsals were like and what it was like building the set and how long everything took.

“The rehearsal schedule for ‘Mousetrap’ was every day after school from 3 to 6 p.m., and the week of the show we were at school from 3 to 9 p.m.” said junior Catherine Stinson, who played Mrs. Boyle in the white cast of the play. “We would usually have one cast run one section of the show, take a little break and then have the other cast do the same thing, since it was double casted we had to split up the time. We would come into rehearsal and work on the set. Wall props would work on decorating the wall or finding things that we needed, so everyone’s always working cohesively preparing for the character, working on an accent that fitted you, and making sure you know kind of who your character is and who you were going to be. The show came together very fast. We got through the first act in I think like two weeks or something like that.”

This play was really entertaining. I enjoyed all the scenes and I loved the modern twist, the costumes and set design. It was overall a wonderful play and I am glad I went to see it.