Trapped by the Past—The Mousetrap by Aaina Dramatics
On 1st November 2018, Aaina Dramatics put forth its flagship event of the year, Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap. For the second time, the Syndicate Golden Jubilee Hall was sold out by Aaina and filled with an aura of mystery and murder.
Set in an isolated house in the middle of a snowstorm, the play follows a whodunnit plotline, that keeps the audience guessing until the very end. The plot revolves around Mollie and Giles Ralston, a couple with a newly opened guest house, and their six guests. The play begins with a radio announcement informing of Mrs Maureen Lyon’s death and that her murderer is on the loose. The guests then begin to arrive, each with their own distinct personalities and backstories. Matters at Monkswell Manor take a daunting turn when Sergeant Trotter arrives declaring a murderer is amongst them. He then delves into the heart-breaking tale of three children who were abused, resulting in the death of the youngest child. The murderer was now out to avenge these children. The residents begin to suspect each other after one amongst them is killed.
Mollie Ralston, played by Druti Singh, begins as an unremarkable character, but as the story progresses, she becomes impassioned and distraught. Ananya Sharma plays the part of the uptight magistrate Mrs Boyle magnificently, giving one the feeling of being in the presence of a stern schoolteacher. A well-deserved mention to Pawan Kurada, who played the part of Christopher Wren to near perfection. His humorous antics kept the audience in fits of laughter even in the direst of situations, and his borderline insanity stole the show every time he came on stage.
Aaina did an incredible job of transporting the audience to 1950s England. The sets and costumes were simple yet flawlessly designed. Adding an ethereal element to the play, the music gave the audience chills, setting the mood for every scene. The audience was on the edge of their seats through all the twists and turns, and the finale had them gasping with shock.
Saurav Upadhyay who plays Paravicini, said, “We always hope that we can hook the audience till the very end and keep them guessing on who is the murderer. I think we achieved that and that is a very satisfactory feeling.” The interpretation of play was also of utmost importance in this case. “Mousetrap is an open-ended play. So, we went through various permutations and combinations and finally arrived at this ending,” explained director, Raza Mehdi. An audience member, Sagnik Ghosh, noted, “The play was very nice. However, I didn’t appreciate it much as I am personally not a very big fan of Agatha Christie’s work.”
Pulling off a play based on Agatha Christie’s story is no easy task, but Aaina triumphantly managed to bring her work to life. They held the viewers captive with ease because one must remember that “there is always free cheese in the mousetrap“. Needless to say, Aaina’s main production was a resounding success and transcended all expectations, immersing each audience member in this thrilling tale.
Featured image by Vaaridhi Mathur