‘Mousetrap’ comes to Topeka Civic Theatre

Brandon Bills

Murder and suspense are on the bill this Halloween as Topeka Civic Theatre presents their production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”

“The Mousetrap” is the latest production in TCT’s tradition of plays for the Halloween season. Past productions include “Dracula” and “Frankenstein.” This year, an all volunteer cast has taken on the murder mystery classic.

“The Mousetrap” is the longest running play in the world, having run in the West End of London since 1952. The play opened at TCT on Oct. 17 and runs through Nov. 1. This is the TCT’s third production of the “The Mousetrap,” the last time being in 1976.

“We’re excited to bring it back to the stage to a whole new audience that hasn’t seen it before,” said Shannon Riley, director.

The play by Agatha Christie centers on eight characters who are trapped in a British boarding house during a snowstorm, when one of the guests is murdered. The suspense deepens as accusations fly and everyone becomes a suspect.

“Everybody is hiding something that could make them the potential killer,” said Riley.

“It’s a fun ‘who-done-it,'” said Taryn Temple, who plays the role of Mollie Ralston, a recently wed young woman who inherited the guest house. “We had a lot of fun piecing together the secrets,” said Temple.

“The Mousetrap” is known for it’s ending, one Riley describes as a “wonderful unexpected twist.” The mysterious nature of the play presents the cast with the challenge of keeping the audience in suspense.

“It’s a delicate balance,” said Walt Boyd. “You don’t want to tip your hand too much.”

Boyd plays the role of Mr. Paravicini, a character who Boyd describes as shady with a sinister personality. As an actor, Boyd enjoyed the darker aspects of the Mr. Paravicini.

“That’s not something we get a crack at often,” said Boyd.

Temple has enjoyed the strong ensemble cast. “We all built off of each other and we all depend on each other,” said Temple.

In preparation for the role, Temple read the short story by Agatha Christie on which the play was based. “When I was reading it, I was just as caught up in the mystery as the audience,” said Temple.