And just like that, we've already been performing for a month!
A rapid two weeks of rehearsal, one open Dress, and just like that we opened and took our place in the almost 67-year history of The Mousetrap.
As a cast we now have 39 performances of the play under our belts. At the end of every performance, during the curtain call, there is a speech asking the audience to "keep the secret of 'whodunnit' locked in your hearts", and I can only hope our audiences will honour that...
This job is unusual for me, in that it's the first time I've been involved in a play with regular cast changes. During its run, The Mousetrap has had about as many casts as it has years on the clock. I've seen friends join previous casts and tell me about the fun they've had, as well as the challenges. It's quite a task to bring something to life that's been seen by millions of people from around the world during its' lifetime, to create a character for myself that feels honest and compelling while also honouring the conventions of a Christie murder mystery.
As the detective in the play, my main objective is always to drag the truth out of people. From the moment my character arrives, suspicion is cast on every single one of the guests in Monkswell Manor and I essentially enlist the audience in trying to solve the mystery before it's too late. it's always satisfying to hear who guessed right, who guessed wrong, and how they drew their conclusions.
With six months (!) still to go in our run - the cast will change again after 12th April 2019 - the challenge now is to find little ways to keep the play lively for us as actors, to make sure we maintain the courses we plotted in rehearsal, and to make sure the play is just as fresh and fun for the 200+ audiences still to see us at work!