He got it wrong – inevitably. When Edward Elgood saw Agatha Christie’s iconic Mousetrap for the first time he failed to work out whodunit.
His father had suggested he text his findings at the half-time break, to see whether he could guess who was responsible for a killing in Christie’s beloved murder mystery.
“I must admit, I tried to figure it out. My father had seen it many years ago.
“He told me to text him at the interval, which I did.
“I sent him the name of the person who I thought had done it.
“I didn’t’ get it right. I had a plausible theory but I suppose that just illustrates the genius of Christie’s writing.”
Elgood is looking forward to featuring in The Mousestrap.
His stage credits include the understudy Harry in King Charles III (Almeida Theatre & Wyndham’s Theatre), 1848 (Conway Hall), The Lady From The Sea (The Courtyard Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Courtyard Theatre), The Possibilities (Camden People’s Theatre) and The Lady of Pleasure (Sam Wanamaker Festival, Shakespeare’s Globe). Mousetrap arrives at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre on Monday for a week-long run.
Elgood says: “Mousetrap is a play that has a place in theatrical history and any actor worth their salt knows of it.
“I first saw it last year. I had an audition for the West End production.
“It’s one of those plays that people think they’ll get round to seeing it eventually because it’s been on forever.
“I got a call back for the tour, which was almost better. It’s great to travel round the country.”
The beloved murder mystery first went on tour in 2012 to mark its 60th anniversary.
Due to unprecedented demand, a second tour will be visiting theatres up and down the country through to November 2015 – including Wolverhampton’s Grand.
The play is the world’s longest running stage production and has been in London since 1952.
It recently celebrated its 26,000 performance at St Martin’s Theatre, London.
The touring production has been seen by over 600,000 people across more than 600 performances and has broken box office records in many of its venues.
The murder mystery has also been seen in every continent, with professional productions in Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.
The cast for the 2015 tour includes Hester Arden (Macbeth, Orange Tree Theatre) as Miss Casewell, Edward Elgood as Christopher Wren, Mark Homer (EastEnders’ Tony Hill) as Giles Ralston, Esther McAuley (I Promise You Sex and Violence, Northern Stage) as Mollie Ralston and Jonathan Sidgwick (Hollyoaks; Coronation Street) as Mr Paravicini. William Ilkley joins from the West End production of The Mousetrap as Major Metcalf alongside Luke Jenkins and Anne Kavanagh who will reprise their roles from the record-breaking 2014 tour as Sgt Trotter and Mrs Boyle respectively.
Elgood says featuring in such a production is a joy.
“It’s a thrill to be involved. There’s a reason a play like this has lasted for 63 years.
“It’s different every venue we go to. The audiences are different wherever we go.
“The audience is like the extra person in the company.
“Whatever they bring affects how we play it.
“There are little bits here and there that different audiences find amusing.
“That causes a reaction in us. There are amusing parts to the play – Christie threw in some slightly comic characters.
“There’s an essence of truth in every character.
“There’s a back story for everyone. It’s not clumsy.
“The audience might not be able to get the backstory, they just know there’s something going on under the surface.
“It’s great, you know.
“Every single person in the company could potentially be the murderer. People try to guess who’s dunnit. There’s a possibility everyone could have done it.
“You get people after the show who say: I knew, I knew, I knew.
“But they rarely did.
“Having done parts for other writers in the past, you realise the calibre of Christie’s work when you step on stage.
“It’s an absolute joy, every line and every word has meaning.
“As an actor, one of the hardest things to do is give truth to bad writing, to justify what you are saying if there is no reason for saying it.
“Whereas if the writing is truthful in first place, it’s easy to be able to say the lines.”
By Andy Richardson