Mur­der-mys­tery in the manor

Back Al­ley Pro­duc­tions presents ‘The Mouse­trap’

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Back Al­ley Pro­duc­tions will present six per­for­mances of Agatha Christie’s clas­sic mur­der- mys­tery, “The Mouse­trap,” over two week­ends be­gin­ning Fri­day, June 1, at the Mars The­atre in LaFayette, Ge­or­gia.

In­ter­est in Christie’s work has been re­vived with the suc­cess­ful film adap­ta­tions of “Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press” and “Crooked House” in 2017. “The Mouse­trap” be­gan its life as a ra­dio play in May 1947 by the name “Three Blind Mice,” based on the true case of Dennis O’Neil. The tale pre­miered on Lon­don’s West End in 1952. Since then, “The Mouse­trap” has be­come known as the­ater’s long­est-run­ning play.

The play be­gins with five strangers ar­riv­ing at Monkswell Manor dur­ing a snow­storm just af­ter a mur­der in town. The manor has re­cently been con­verted into a guest house run by Mollie and Giles Ralston. While wait­ing for the guests to ar­rive, Mollie lis­tens to a ra­dio re­port about the mur­der in town, which states that po­lice are look­ing for a man in a dark over­coat ob­served near the scene.

The first four guests to ar­rive are Christo­pher Wren, an un­kempt, flighty young man; Mrs. Boyle, who com­plains about ev­ery­thing; Ma­jor Met­calf, an ami­able ex-mil­i­tary man; and Miss Casewell. An un­ex­pected fifth guest ar­rives iden­ti­fy­ing him­self in a for­eign ac­cent as Mr. Par­avicini. He tells the Ral­stons his car has over­turned in a snow­drift, snow has blocked the roads and that the guests of the house are trapped.

The next af­ter­noon, Mollie an­swers a tele­phone call from Su­per­in­ten­dent Hog­ben of the Berk­shire Po­lice. Hog­ben tells her that he is dis­patch­ing Sergeant Trot­ter to the guest house, and that the Ral­stons must lis­ten care­fully to what Trot­ter has to tell them.

Trot­ter ex­plains he has been sent in re­gard to the mur­der in town of Mau­reen Lyon. He re­veals that a notebook found at the mur­der scene con­tained the ad­dress of Monkswell Manor and the words “Three Blind Mice.” A note read­ing “This is the First” was pinned to the woman’s body. The po­lice have sent Trot­ter to find out how the Ral­stons’ house is con­nected to the mur­der and whether res­i­dents are in dan­ger.

When a sec­ond vic­tim is found in the manor, ev­ery­one be­comes a sus­pect and hid­den iden­ti­ties and mo­ti­va­tions are re­vealed.

Kee­gan Wes­tra is di­rect­ing Back Al­ley Pro­duc­tions’ ver­sion of this tale. The cast in­cludes James Caleb Reed, Mea­gan Robin­son, Michael Lynn, James Lanier, D.J. Lovett, David Howard, Cyn­thia Huber, Sam Bing­ham and new­comer Sally Sainthill.

Pur­chase tick­ets on­line at bap­shows. com or call 706- 621-2870. Tick­ets, if avail­able, are sold in the box of­fice 30 min­utes be­fore cur­tain.

BACK AL­LEY PRO­DUC­TIONS PHOTO

James Caleb Reed, stand­ing fore­ground, with D. J. Lovett, Mea­gan Robin­son, David Howard, Sam Bing­ham, Sally Sainthill and James Lanier in back, from left.

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