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Community Players stage Agatha Christie hit “The Mousetrap”

<p>Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Cast members from Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” are from left, Chuck Stricklin, Alyssia Statz, Kenn Murphy, A.D. Cook and Carlton McCaslin. The play will be on stage as a dinner theater production at New Hope Fellowship for three weekends.</p>

Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Cast members from Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” are from left, Chuck Stricklin, Alyssia Statz, Kenn Murphy, A.D. Cook and Carlton McCaslin. The play will be on stage as a dinner theater production at New Hope Fellowship for three weekends.

The Mousetrap, a murder mystery play written by Agatha Christie has been running continuously since it opened in the West End of London in 1952. At well over 25,000 performances it has the longest initial run in history.

During the month of February, local theater lovers can be part of that history when the Shadow Mountain Community Players present The Mousetrap at the New Hope Fellowship Auditorium, 781 West St. The play will run for three weekends, Feb. 7 and 8, 14 and 15, 21 and 22. Admission is $15 per person which includes dinner. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Pahrump Community Library, at the door on the day of the show, or for large party reservations call 775-727-6145.

Wikipedia states “the play is set in the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor, in “the present.”

“Act I opens with the murder of a woman in London, played out in sound only on a dark stage. The action then moves to Monkswell Manor, recently converted to guesthouse run by a young couple, Mollie and Giles Ralston. Their first four guests arrive: Christopher Wren, Mrs. Boyle, Major Metcalf and Miss Casewell. Mrs. Boyle complains about everything, and Giles offers to cancel her stay, but she refuses the offer. They become snowed in together and read of the murder in the newspaper. An additional traveller, Mr. Paravicini, arrives stranded after he ran his car into a snowdrift, but he makes his hosts uneasy.

“In the next scene, the imposing Mrs. Boyle complains to the other guests, first to Metcalf and then to Miss Casewell, who both try to get away from her. Wren comes into the room claiming to have fled Mrs. Boyle in the library. Shortly afterwards, the police call on the phone, creating great alarm amongst the guests. Mrs. Boyle suggests that Mollie check Wren’s references. Detective Sergeant Trotter arrives on skis to inform the group that he believes a murderer is at large and on his way to the hotel, following the death of Mrs Maureen Lyon in London. When Mrs Boyle is killed, they realise that the murderer is already there.

“Act II opens 10 minutes later, where the investigation is ongoing. Each character is scrutinized and suspected. Mollie and Giles get into a fight, and Chris Wren and Giles argue over who should protect Mollie. Suspicion falls first on Christopher Wren, an erratic young man who fits the description of the supposed murderer. However, it quickly transpires that the killer could be any one of the guests, or even the hosts themselves. The characters re-enact the second murder, trying to prevent a third.

There is more on tap for the theater group and the public is invited to audition their acting talent at future casting calls.

Production director Laurie McCaslin said Feb. 12 there will be a casting call for “Rowdy Joe and the Lost Prospector’s Mine,” at 7 p.m. in the Pahrump Senior Center on Basin Avenue. The performance will be May 2-4 during the Wild West Extravaganza.

Another casting call is set for March 25 for Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” also scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Pahrump Senior Center. The performance will be June 13-14 at Sanders Family Winery.

July 1 will be the casting call for “Murder Most Fowl.” This interactive murder mystery will be staged in August at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. Auditions will be at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center.

The holiday performance in 2012 had to be canceled because McCaslin siad, “No one showed up for the auditions.” She said there are a limited number of cast members and some of them opt out of performances to travel. So, if you think you may have talent, no matter your age, and are willing to commit to rehearsals, give the auditions a try.

For more information on casting calls or performances, call 775-727-6145