Last night I enjoyed the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s final performance of “The Mousetrap”, based off of Christie’s “Three Blind Mice”. (The play is still running in the west end, of course, sixty four years and counting…) A spooky locked-room murder mystery is just the thing to kick off October, especially when executed by fine actors like those of the ASF. Theater-goers filled the parking lot and invaded the park the theater is set in; I have never seen such a crowd there! “The Mousetrap” takes place in the wintry English countryside, some time after the war. A young couple has inherited a roomy house and decided to run it as a country inn, and on the night the play kicks off, they are expecting their first guests. A blizzard cuts the inn off from civilization just as the last guest arrives, and the tension inside the house is soon just as thick as the snow outside. The guests are eccentric and opinionated, and stress levels only increase when the house receives a phone call. There’s been a grisly murder in London, with a possible connection to this address. The police are coming. Soon there’s an actual body on the floor, and the inspector’s questions cast suspicion on everyone, reducing even the husband and wife to being fearful of one another.
I was quite surprised by the ending, more for the dramatically quick resolution than the twist. . My only disappointment was that the theater didn’t sternly admonish us against spoiling the ending. It certainly put me in the mood for a few more gloomy mysteries, just the thing for October with Halloween not far off. In the short term, though, this week will see a little more history (leftovers, really, consumed reluctantly), and more posts from my week in New Mexico, this time including Albuquerque and Santa Fe. (Fun fact: did you know that in 1862, the Confederates invaded New Mexico? I didn’t, and I’ve been reading about the war since adolescence!) I’m still waiting for things to get back to ‘normal’…I suppose eventually the magic will wear off and I’ll stop dreaming of the mountains.. Then it will be time to go again.