Murder romp makes a killing at Milton Keynes

Christopher Wren (Stephen Yeo) gets to grips with Mrs Boyle (Anne Kavanagh).
Christopher Wren (Stephen Yeo) gets to grips with Mrs Boyle (Anne Kavanagh).

Murder, mystery and black humour have always appealed to British theatre-goers, and this year’s star-studded Diamond Anniversary Tour is sure to please living-room sleuths and first-time detectives alike.

The Mousetrap, running at Milton Keynes Theatre until September 27, is a ‘whodunnit’ at its finest, helped by a strong, star-studded cast and solid performances from Anne Kavanagh as the hateful harridan Mrs Boyle and Stephen Yeo as the neurotic, but rather endearing Christopher Wren.

There is little that will surprise Agatha Christie fans, but even for the uninitiated this tale of eight strangers isolated in a country manor should be instantly familiar, as murky pasts are slowly revealed, building up to a final, desperate dénouement both shocking and extremely satisfying.

The Mousetrap’s venerability is at times a liability, and at some points during the first act the production creaks and shudders, though it never really grinds to a complete halt thanks to the superb script that manages to inject alot of humour into proceedings, even as the tension (and bodycount) mounts.

With its 25,000th performance well behind it The Mousetrap remains an entertaining crowd-pleaser.