Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Mouse Trap



So as a pre birthday treat we went for this play titled “ The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie, premiered in Chennai for the first time, by the Madras Players and The Crea-Shakthi group.   I got to know about this play from my good friend and a famous multi talented and a well known public figure Karthik TM, TMK as he is known from the EVAM theatre group. 

I had the good fortune of working with this versatile personality in two of my earlier organisations, first while I was with DSRC and then while I was with Satyam Computers.   While at Satyam I have worked very closely with TMK in Organisational Development activities through the training team that I was part of, then.

I have earlier taken Joe and Dennu, while I was at Satyam, for a play titled HAMLET ( which is a hilarious take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet) by the EVAM Entertainment group.  TMK was the heroine of the play and he was just fabulous.  That was a first real life play for all three of us and initially Joe and Dennu weren’t very convinced about an evening of theatre,  then.  But I remember the play was a laughing riot and Dennu and J enjoyed it so much more than me, literally Rolling on the floor with laughter.  

That was the day, when I also saw TMK transform into an ethereal artist on stage, and from then on, I have been his big fan. I have always wondered how poorly he is utilised in Tinsel town, for the measly roles he gets in movies.  He has acted in the tamil version of 3 Idiots, Nanban, as the prospective groom of the heroine. 

So when I told Dennu about this play, Dennu was willing to make time for the play ( amidst his busy fourth year engineering schedule, that is).  The paly was staged at the Music Academy on a Friday and the 1400 seater hall was full to the brim. The crowd was elite, classy and very much the kind who would watch theatre.

The stage was set well, keeping up the vintage English charm of those days when Agatha Christie wrote the play, the costumes and accessories, the acoustics doing justice to the entire cast and crew. I loved the way the storm was blowing and the snow blizzard is depicted on stage. 90 minutes of pure theatrical bliss.  Theatre bigwigs like P C Ramakrishna who has been in the field for the last 40 plus years had a meaty role in the play.  It was amazing to watch him as Mr Paravicini, who acts with an Italian accent.  He enthralled the audience with his expertise in theatre.  That role just fitted him so well.

My friend TMK, was the villain cum hero of the play and presented to Chennai,  the role of Detective Sergeant Trotter, which he did so perfectly.  Didn’t expect anything lesser from him.  The players who portrayed Mrs Boyle and  Major Metcalf did their parts so impeccably that when the director introduced them and said this was their maiden stage, it was unbelievable.  In fact, every one in the crew did justice to their role,  leaving the artists with an astounding applause during their introductions towards the end .

That was the shortest 90 mintues in a long time and an evening well spent. ( Momma – Sonny bonding)

For those who are not familiar with the Mouse Trap, a murder mystery from Agatha Christie here is a little sneak peak. 

The Mouse trap is world's longest running plays and is now celebrating its Diamond Anniversary in its 60th year!

Story goes like this.. A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer. The suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, and the suspicions in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage. Others are a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. Into their midst comes a policeman, travelling on skis. He no sooner arrives, when the jurist is killed. Two down, and one to go. To get to the rationale of the murderer's pattern, the policeman probes the background of everyone present, and rattles a lot of skeletons.  This story has another famous Agatha Christie switch finish!