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The play’s the thing

A group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow, discover to their horror, there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be?

One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.

This is the gripping plot of crime writer Agatha Christie's famous story The Mousetrap.

Adapted for the stage, The Mousetrap is the longest-running play in the history of London's West End.

Evolution Theatre Company plans to stage the play in September and will hold auditions this Saturday at 11am at the theatre, 75 Disraeli Street. Rehearsals start July 13.

Actors are sought for the roles of:

' Mollie Ralston, the wife of Giles Ralston. Mollie is the young owner of Monkswell Manor, a Victorian era guest house.

' Giles Ralston, Mollie's husband of one year.

' Christopher Wren, a flighty, obviously neurotic young man, a guest.

' Mrs Boyle, stern and generally unpleasant, a guest.

' Major Metcalf, a retired British military officer, a guest.

' Miss Casewell, a bit masculine in her demeanour, another guest at Monkswell Manor, remains mysteriously aloof from the other guests.

' Mr Paravicini, an unexpected guest at Monkswell Manor. Mr Paravicini is there only because his car became stuck in a snowbank during a terrible blizzard.

' Detective Sergeant Trotter, a late-arriving guest. Detective Trotter is trying to establish a relationship between any of the guests and a murder already committed at another location.

The play's title derives from Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet, in which “The Mousetrap” is Hamlet's answer to his murderous uncle Claudius's inquiry about the name of the play whose prologue and first scene the court has just seen.

The play is actually called The Murder of Gonzago, but Hamlet answers metaphorically, since “the play's the thing” in which he intends to “catch the conscience of the king”.

WORLD'S LONGEST RUNNING PLAY: St Martin's Theatre in London marks the phenomena of 22,461 performances of Agatha Christie's whodunnit, a play Evolution Theatre plans to stage later this year. Picture supplied