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Murder mystery at the Newton Community Theatre begins tonight

Christie's 'The Mousetrap' arrives just in time for spooky season

Published: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 11:35 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 11:42 a.m. CST
Agatha Christie's murder mystery, "The Mousetrap," opens at the Newton Community Theatre at 7:30 p.m. tonight. (From left) Lynette Baker and John Dougan portray Mollie and Giles Ralston, owners of the guest house at Monkswell Manor where the murders take place, and William McKenna is Detective Sgt. Trotter.

“The Mousetrap,” an Agatha Christie murder mystery that first opened in London in 1952, has been running continually since and has the longest initial run of any play in history. The Newton Community Theatre's production of "The Mousetrap," directed by Linda Campbell and Jamie Grout, can be seen tonight, Saturday and Sunday, plus Oct. 11, 12 and 13.

Radio news reveals that Maureen Lyon has been murdered in London. The mystery is set in the great hall of Monkswell Manor, a guest house run by Mollie and Giles Ralston, played by Lynette Baker and John Dougan. As guests arrive, coming in from an ever-worsening snowstorm, each brings an odd personality, not endearing them to one another or to their hosts.

Harriet Harmelink portrays the constantly complaining Mrs. Boyle. She is joined by Terry Faidley as the erratic Christopher Wren, Steve McKinstry as commanding Army retiree Major Metcalf and Kristine Perkins as the aloof Miss Casewell, who speaks offhandedly about her horrific childhood. The group soon is joined by Mr. Paravicini, portrayed by Mike McKenna, who, in an obviously feigned foreign accent, claims his car has been stuck in the snow.

The next afternoon, William McKenna as Detective Trotter, arrives to inform the group that the murderer is at large and on his way to the guest house. When Mrs. Boyle meets her demise, they realize the murderer already is among them. Indeed, it could be any of them — even the hosts.

The final act discloses that no character is who he or she appears when the murderer is exposed. Tradition demands that theater-goers never reveal the identity of the murderer so as not to spoil “The Mousetrap” for others. This delightful play with a most ironic twist demands that, “What you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here."

Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by calling (641) 792-1230.

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