CHENNAI: Guests at the British Deputy High Commission Chennai, on Wednesday, eagerly waited, swirling wine in their glass and sipping it slowly. Some chatted while others watched the screen which played the trailer of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. Now and then, guests glanced at the large wooden door, expecting it to open at any moment.Just then our ears piqued.
Was that chatter coming from the other side of the door? The expressions in the room changed from bored to excited as they heard it too. With a gust of wind, the door was flung open and in walked the cast of The Mousetrap. All 14 of them entered into the room led by Denise Silvey, the director. “We landed this morning. The excitement kept me up the whole time. I did catch some sleep by the pool for an hour though and I feel energised again,” she said.
The play was first staged 67 years ago and has run shows almost every day, ever since. “We do nine shows every week all over England,” said Denise, who has been associated with the play since 2009. “I joined as an understudy and have been directing The Mousetrap for the last two years.”
The theatre production had been to Mumbai last year. “I’m quite excited to cover other cities like Chennai and Bengaluru this time,” said Tom Rooke, who plays Giles Ralston, owner of the Monkswell Mansion.
“I spend most of my time in that chair,” said Sarah Whitlock, who plays Mrs Boyle, pointing at the chair shown in the trailer. She has been working on this play for around 25 years. “I started as an understudy for one of the younger women in the play,” she said. Sarah has seen many actors adapt the characters of the play. “The production changes once every six months, except for the last two years. This crew has been the same,” she added.
Avinash Shankar, founder of Blank Slate AdCom, is responsible for bringing the troupe to India. “From a book shop at the local railway station to the most established libraries in town, you’ll always find a section dedicated to Agatha Christie. Bringing the play to India was imperative, considering the audience they have here,” he said.The play will be staged at Sir Mutha Concert Hall, Lady Andal School premises, on Saturday and Sunday at 3 pm and 7 pm. Tickets on BookMyShow. For details, call: 9821014102