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Phillips County Players take the stage with ‘Mousetrap’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Suspense is building as Phillips County Players prepare to hit the stage this weekend with a good old-fashioned murder mystery called “Mousetrap.”

Co-directed by Eric Conklin and Penny Dockins, the play is set for Friday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. All performances will be at the Peerless Theatre in Holyoke.

Agatha Christie’s “Mousetrap” is the longest running show of the modern era, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The show opened Oct. 6, 1952 and has been running continuously since. It’s known for its twist ending the audience is asked not to reveal.

“Mousetrap” cast members are pictured from left, front row, Shaylee Krueger, Maury Kramer, Becca Brandt and Karen Swan; and back row, Brooke Parker, Jerry Brandt, Duncan Brandt and director Eric Conklin. Not pictured are Dolly Smith and director Penny Dockins.       —Enterprise photo

Set in England in the 1950s, the play opens with news on the radio at Monkswell Manor relating a murder that has recently taken place. Mollie and Giles Ralston (Becca Brandt and Maury Kramer), the young, newly-married owners of a recently converted guest house, hardly notice the news. They are far too busy preparing for their first guest and concerned the blizzard raging outside may hamper their arrival.

Christopher Wren (Duncan Brandt) arrives first; he is obviously a neurotic young man. Next to arrive is Mrs. Boyle (Dolly Smith), a generally unpleasant person, followed by Major Metcalf (Brooke Parker), a retired military man.

Miss Casewell (Karen Swan), an independent young woman, arrives next. She brings more news about the recent murder. An unexpected guest, Mr. Paravicini (Shaylee Krueger), shows up announcing his car has overturned in a snowdrift.

The next morning Mollie receives a phone call informing her that an officer is being sent to the manor, in spite of the weather. Several guests are obviously unnerved by this news. Soon, the police officer, Sergeant Trotter (Jerry Brandt), arrives on skis.

He believes someone at the manor had a connection to the recent murder victim. Each of the guests, as well as the Ralstons, denies having any knowledge of the situation whatsoever. Suspicion at Monkswell Manor is growing rapidly, and the telephone no longer works.

Mollie hears a scuffle and a scream and enters to find a guest has been strangled. Sergeant Trotter assembles everyone for questioning. Each accounts for his or her whereabouts, but none satisfactorily. Soon everyone becomes suspicious of everyone else.

So who is the next victim? Will the murderer be unmasked in time to stop more deaths?

Holyoke Enterprise Aug. 9, 2012