Donna Lenz Wright/The Week
(Published April 11, 12:48 p.m.)
What: 'Mouse Trap' presented by the Good Company
Where: The Chapel on the Hill, Hwy 50 West, Lake Geneva
When: April 14, 15, 21, and 22
Info: 245-0202 or 245-9122
All are welcome to the home of Mollie and Giles Ralston, a young couple who have started up a hotel in the converted Monkswell Manor, beginning this weekend.
The Good Company will present "Mouse Trap," an Agatha Christie murder mystery that has been continually somewhere on the globe since 1952.
"It's the longest-running play in history," said JaNelle Powers, director.
Its undying popularity is credited to Christie's original style of giving audiences clues as the story progresses, inviting them to solve the murders using their own sleuthing abilities.
"It's not a Sherlock Holmes clue-finding play," Powers said. "But bit by bit the murderer becomes obvious when he (or she) tips their hand."
The story begins on a very snowy evening at Monkswell Manor's debut as an inn. As the guests arrive one at a time, the radio is squawking out reports of the terrible murder of Maureen Lyon in nearby London.
"The murder was committed because three children were sent to a foster home and one of them died due to the abuse from the family taking care of them," Powers explained.
It was Lyon who was imprisoned for abusing the three siblings left in her care and she had just been released from prison when she was murdered.
Police believe that the murderer is heading toward the inn. So as each of the six guests arrive, they appear suspicious for different reasons, including the proprietors of the inn.
Christopher Wren is the first to arrive. He is a hyperactive effeminate and very peculiar young man who admits he is running away from something but refuses to admit what.
Mrs. Boyle is a critical spinster and former judge. The audience soon discovers it is she who placed the three children in Lyon's care.
Major Metcalf is retired from the army. He reveals little else about himself but it is soon learned that the father of the three siblings was in the army at the time their mother died, which led to them being put into care.
Miss Casewell is an aloof woman who offers few details about herself except that she had a horrible childhood.
Mr. Paravicini appears to be foreign and is quite mysterious. He refuses to answer questions about himself or his past.
Sergeant Trotter valiantly arrives in the snowstorm to protect the guests from the murderer-or does he?
Even the Ralstons themselves aren't above suspicion. Both Mollie and Giles made secret trips to London on the same day Lyon was murdered.
"They all look like possible murderers," Powers says. And when one of the guests is killed, they quickly realize the murderer is indeed at the inn.
This show is different from most Good Company productions for two reasons, Powers said.
Many times Good Company shows include elaborate set changes and props, but this performance focuses on the characters and uses only one set. This allows the audience to focus on the players and storyline more exclusively.
Also different is the type of show.
"We don't usually do shows so intense," she said. "A murder mystery is a different edge for us, but I like that."
The Good Company at the Chapel on the Hill is located on Highway 50 West, Lake Geneva, across from the Interlaken Resort and Country Spa. "Mouse Trap" will be performed April 14-15 and 21-22, Saturdays 7:30 p.m. Sundays 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children and available by calling 245-0202 or 245-9122.
Mrs. Boyle-Amy Schley
Mr. Paravicini-Glenn Norgren
Major Metcalf-Mark Drinnenberg
Det. Sargeant Trotter-Shawn Holmes
Giles Ralston-Mikhel Alekzanderh
Mollie Ralston-Joy Powers
Christopher Wren-Andrew Troupis
Miss Casewell-Bridget McMahon
Content may not be published, broadcast, re-distributed or re-written.