Saturday, 19 October 2013

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap... in KL

It wasn't just the Queen of England who celebrated a diamond jubilee, but also the West End production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, who are celebrating by staging it around the planet for people who can't go to see it in England. I don't know if I'll ever go to London to see it myself, so this would have to do. As per Ms Christie's will, there can never be a big screen adaptation of any sort until the stage production has been closed for at least six months, so you might as well watch the play while it's still on.

Wasn't in the mood to drive there at night, and matinee tickets are usually cheaper, so I went with that. Cheapest seat category were out by the time I shopped for a ticket, so I settled for the next one up. What was a bit worrying was that it was going to be at the DBKL auditorium, a venue foreign to me personally. 

Turns out I was all ado about nothing as it indeed was that Menara DBKL (on your left if you're driving from Jalan Parlimen; also walking distance from Masjid Jamek if you wanted). It's always exciting going to different performing arts venues. At least parking was free and we were free to park at the employee parking lots, so yay. I lucked out and got a pretty decent parking spot too :)

Traffic was pretty crap for a Saturday (I was driving from Setia Alam, not from home) on some stretches of the highways I was on. By the time I climbed all. those. damn. stairs. (already not for the less than fit or the disabled or the elderly), doors were already opened. Of course the sponsors had their presence at the foyer: Borders was selling Agatha Christie titles (DUH), NST was pushing subscriptions. Food and drink available there were damn expensive for this cheapo. 

This was the one place I know nothing of the seating layout, so I trusted the usher who led me to my seat... only to get chased out of it 5 minutes into the performance because I was ushered into. the. wrong. damn. seat. Even when I was finally situated into my actual seat, it was hard to concentrate because someone behind me was breathing really loudly ala Darth Vader. Seats were pretty comfortable, but you know it's an old(ish) venue because you would have to (sheepishly) ask people to get up if you wanted to get to your seat. It was also a full house, so couldn't "self upgrade" :P 
In the winter of 1952, seven people are stranded by a snowstorm at Monkswell Manor, a remote country guest house. A policeman, Sergeant Trotter, manages to reach the house to warn them of a murder at a nearby farmhouse, but then an elderly guest is found murdered. Now, only six of them remain who realise the truth: that one of them in the house is the murderer. Sergeant Trotter believes he knows who the killer is, and calls them together to set a trap which will reveal the murderer’s identity of the murderer. Who is it, and can he or she be found in time before another murder is committed?
Cast members here have done their time in London. It was hard for me to get into the play because of the little distractions around me (don't get me started); as the cast are not miked up and are projecting (props for that), it might be a little hard to hear if you're seating towards the back. I have a hard copy of the text somewhere, but I had not beefed up on it recently. But I still remembered who did it. I never quite realised that it was so humourous and that Ms Christie had written in that many red herrings before the big reveal.

The only part I was eagerly awaiting for was the part where they tell you not to spoil the ending. That probably worked in the days before the internet, but not these days. If I were you, I wouldn't look it up on Wikipedia. Just saying.

I had won a Kakiseni contest on Twitter this week and was told to collect my mystery prize at the show. Remembered to collect it during the 15 minute intermission (turns out you can use the downstairs bathrooms and be back in your seat by the end of intermission if you don't want to line up at the upstairs bathrooms. Attempt only if you can climb stairs) at the makeshift box office downstairs. It wasn't tickets, but it was a tube of Cellnique's Intensive Hydro Repair Cream (worth RM189), which contains Hyaluronic Acid and Snail Mucin. Yeah, I know. 
I've written so much, so I have to end it by saying: Go watch it already... if you can still get tickets.