Sunday, December 11, 2011
The Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts (TAPA) & Happy Camp Hideaway, along with TLC is thrilled to announce the cast for their upcoming production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. Playing the newlywed owners of Monkswell Manor bed and breakfast are Robert Kratz and Ami Ericson. Shortly after the play begins, Monkswell Manor is visited by guests portrayed by Harrison Kaiser, Karen Martin, Richard Coon, Tatjana Queener and Phil Gregg. In typical Agatha Christie style, we are then introduced to a sleuth and in this case the sleuth is portrayed by Steele Fleischer.
The Mousetrap was initially performed as a radio play in 1952 and was broadcast by the BBC under the working title Three Blind Mice. The radio play had been commissioned in 1947 by Queen Mary, who was a Christie fan. The forty-five minute play was based on a short story of a true event on which Christie had been working; however, audience reaction was so positive that Christie went back to work on the script, elaborating on it, and with its first performance on October 6, 1952 and The Mousetrap became a stage play. After a seven-week tour, the play opened in London at The Ambassadors Theatre on November 25,1952. The play later transferred to St. Martin's Theatre in London on March 23, 1974 and has been running there ever since. The Mousetrap has broken several records for its continuous theatrical run since its opening, and it is estimated that more than four million people had seen the play by the time its twenty-five year anniversary was celebrated in 1977. As of 13 October 2011 it has clocked up a record-breaking 24,537 performances, with the play still running at St Martin's Theatre. By tradition, at the end of each performance, audiences are asked not to reveal the identity of the killer to anyone outside the theatre, to ensure that the end of the play is not spoiled for future audiences. The Mousetrap has never been made into a feature film due to the fact that it is still running on stage.
This is TAPA's first foray into the numerous, 87 total, works of the "Queen of Crime" Dame Agatha Christie. Focusing on the British middle and upper classes, Agatha Christie's books are whodunits often set on a country estate in England or during a frightening train ride. The murders are often extremely ingenious, involving some convoluted piece of deception. Agatha Christie's style is almost a genre in itself. With stories rich in taut atmosphere and incredibly well developed characters that work through a story woven in strong psychological suspense, all delivered with her deliberate yet gripping slow pace.
Taking the helm of this production is 4th time director Robert Buckingham. In 2009 Robert directed his first production with TAPA, which was the satirical thriller Murder by the Book. Since then he also directed the chilling drama The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 2010 and the all-American comedy Neil Simon’s The Star-Spangled Girl last year. “It surprised us when we recently realized that we had never done an Agatha Christie play”, said Robert. “So it was time for me to revisit my favorite genre of mystery and I chose her most infamous play”.
The Mousetrap hits the stage at The Barn Community Playhouse located at 12th and Ivy in Tillamook on Jan 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, then wraps up on Feb 3 and 4. All performances begin at 7:00 p.m. with the exception of the matinée on January 29th, which begins at 2:00 p.m. Doors open one-half hour prior to curtain. There will be an opening night “Champagne Gala” celebration on January 20. The purchase of a ticket includes one beverage on opening night only. Advance Tickets and reservations will be available through Diamond Art Jeweler’s at (503) 842-7940. For information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured left to right and back to front- Robert Kratz, Ami Ericson, Harrison Kaiser, Tatjana Queener, Steele Fleisher, Phil Gregg, Karen Martin and Richard Coon.