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I tip my hat to Selladoor Venues, the new management of the New Theatre in Peterborough.

They’ve done an amazing job packing out our iconic venue with shows for all tastes. It wasn’t long ago I was sat in the auditorium on opening night watching Avenue Q. Since then there have been so many great performances.

The latest is The Moustrap, with showings running till Saturday November 9.

It’s easy to see why Agatha Christie’s whodunnit is one of the longest running shows (almost 70 years!) of any kind in the history of theatre.

It’s a show I’ve seen advertised walking through the West End many times and had always intended on seeing it. I finally got my chance, and practically on my doorstep.

With a finely detailed single set piece (the living room), the scene is set when a group of strangers gather in a country house, stuck there due to an extreme snow storm.

Arriving one by one are characters such as the hard to please Mrs Boyle (Susan Penhaligon), the former war veteran Major Metcalf (John Griffiths) and the child-like comic relief Christopher Wren (Lewis Chandler). As these weird and wonderful hotel guests start to mingle, they’re horrified to discover that a murderer is on the loose with all of them potential suspects.

The eight-strong cast all do a phenomenal job keeping us entertained throughout the 2hr 20min running time.

I admire the fact that throughout the years, The Mousetrap has not been modernised for new audiences. This is very much an old-fashioned murder mystery and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I loved it.

Nothing winds me up more with a ‘whodunnit’ than not being given enough clues as to who the killer is – luckily that is not the case here. There are enough seeds thrown our way to work it out but without being too obvious. In my group of five, one knew the outcome for sure whilst another was stuck between two possible suspects.

As the curtain falls, the audience is sworn to secrecy over who that murderer is – as has been the way since 1952 – so who am I to spoil it for you. Want to know the killer yourself? Head down to the New Theatre in Peterborough to find out.

ESP Rating 4/5

Mikey Clarke

Photos: Johann Persson

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