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Mousetrap keeps the audience guessing

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The Mousetrap keeps the audience guessing.Jeff Masson rehearses for  Sgt. Trotter. Photo By Richard Amery
 It’s been many years  since I saw a production of Agatha Christie’s mind bending 1952 whodunnit “The Mousetrap,” so I was especially eager to see what The Playgoers of Lethbridge would do with it, during their Feb. 3-6 run at the Yates Theatre.
Andrew Merrigan’s character of Christopher Wren (like the renown  architect who designed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London) summed up these characters perfectly in a succinct line in Act 1.
“I think they’re all interesting. Because you never know who they are or where they come from,” he states in his delightfully sinister yet innocent manner just as a menagerie of crazy and crazed characters come to stay at  the Ralston family’s Monkswell Manor guest house in the midst of a massive snowstorm where murder most foul is afoot.
Craig McCue, who plays Giles Ralston, captures the spirit of John Cleese’s finer moments in Fawlty Towers. His wife Mollie, played by Angela Gabert, is superb as a doting housewife, with a scary secret. I also enjoyed Christina Haska’s intense portrayal of Miss Casewell, which gets darker as the play moves along, she sits in a  chair making a noose during one of the darker moments, while Sgt. Trotter ( played by an equally intense Justin Masson) tries to figure out who murdered overbearing ex-barrister Mrs. Boyle, played by Nancy Bridal. Bridal does a great job portraying the constantly complaining fussbudget.
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Cast can’t wait for the Mousetrap

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The Playgoers of Lethbridge’s enthusiastic new cast are looking forward to the performing in Agatha Christie’s reknown murder-mystery/farce, the  Mousetrap, which runs Feb. 3-6 at the Yates Theatre.
“Some people are adrenaline junkies and jump off buildings, I don’t need to do that, I just get on stage,” enthused Andrew Merrigan, who looking forward to playing the Justin Masson (Sgt. Trotter) and Jeff Graham (Paravicini) rehearse for the Mousetrap. Photo by Richard Ameryflamboyant and scarf changing Christopher Wren in this 1952 production, which is about a group of eccentric characters trapped in a cabin by a snowstorm, when a murder occurs.
“I like the fact that he’s (Christopher Wren) really innocent and that I can play on that fact,” Merrigan continued adding he is enjoying his first outing on stage with Playgoers.
 The characters’ eccentricities have been enhanced in this production, for example Wren will be changing scarves every scene.
 “I think definitely the people. This is exactly what you look for when you volunteer for something like this,” Merrigan said of his favourite part of being part of the Mousetrap.
“It’s pretty together. There’s a great amount of energy so that makes it fun,” said Justin Masson, who plays Sgt. Trotter, who must solve the murder.

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Playgoers to trap the audience with laughs in the Mousetrap

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The Playgoers of Lethbridge are getting excited about their production of  Agatha Christie’s famous 1950’s murder mystery the Mousetrap, Feb. 3-6 at the Yates Theatre.
Jeff Graham rehearses the role of Paravicini in the Mousetrap. Photo by Richard Amery“The Mousetrap is about a group of eccentric  guests gathered at a guesthouse in Southwestern England in 1952. They’re trapped by a snowstorm and they find it is likely one of them is a murderer when one of them is murdered,”  director Eric Low summarized.
“I’ve directed it before — just  over 20 years ago. I wanted to get it right this time,” laughed Low, who is enjoying working with an enthusiastic young cast of eight including four university of Lethbridge drama students. Most of the cast are new to the Playgoers.
“We’re lucky to have a very talented  group of actors. Every time we give them something to do, they do it and say ‘what else?’” he said  adding he was inspired to give the Mousetrap another shot after seeing an episode of Dr. Who featuring the character of Agatha Christie which reminded him how entertaining her characters are.
“Playgoers have been doing a lot of farces lately, so we thought we’d do a murder mystery that was a farce,” he said describing the characters as eccentric and entertaining.
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Improv with Roman Danylo at Henotic

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It was improv night at Henotic, Jan. 15. They brought in Roman Danylo, the star of Comedy Inc. on the Comedy Channel as well as was the referee for  the comedy channel’s  improv Olympics a few years ago and Dean Haglund, who used to be on the X-Files  TV show and has also performed with Second City and the Groundlings, to entertain an enthusiastic  audience with an hour or so of quick witted improv comedy.Roman Danylo and Dean Haglund entertained Henotic with  improv games. Photo by Richard Amery

They included the audience in a couple of games including sound effects during which they brought up an audience  member on stage to make sound effects for a scene they were acting and  another where the audience member had to move the actors according to their dialogue.

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