Agatha Christie

Building a better ‘Mousetrap’

Beaverton's Experience Theatre Project puts the audience in the middle of the action – and the mystery – in Agatha Christie's famous whodunnit

By MICHAEL SPROLES

Born in the English seaside town of Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie became one of the best-selling novelists of all time, known and beloved for her 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections, and creation of the immensely popular detective characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple.

One of her most successful novels, Murder on the Orient Express, was given a blockbuster movie release worldwide last November. The film received mixed reviews, largely because it didn’t add anything new or innovative to previous adaptations.

That’s a trap that Beaverton’s Experience Theatre Project is determined to avoid in its new production of Christie’s 1952 murder mystery The Mousetrap, the longest continually running play in history. ETP’s Mousetrap will immerse the audience in the action, placing it in the middle of the production’s manor as Christie’s eclectic characters roam around and are brought to life by the show’s actors and actresses.

Amber Bogdeweicz as Miss Casewell. Experience Theatre Project photo

This production of The Mousetrap, as all others, centers on a group of strangers stranded in a boarding house in the midst of a snowstorm in the English countryside in 1952. The suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. Soon a policeman, traveling on skis, arrives to inform everyone that no one is safe, and that there is a strong likelihood a killer walks among them.

Continues…