I recently went to a showing of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery play, The Mousetrap in Cape Town. The theatre is in Camps Bay which is a very trendy part of Cape Town. There are some very fancy restaurants and interesting bars on the seafront. It was very cloudy so you can’t see the mountains behind Camps Bay very well.
Camps Bay has not always been such a fashionable neighborhood as it was once deemed too far from Sea Point Swimming Pool. With a beautiful beach and a narrow strip of land between the sea and the mountains, it was inevitable it would become a desirable place to live. This history reflects the history of the theatre, which used to be a flea pit cinema till someone saw the potential to turn it into an intimate theatre.
We arrived about 20 mins before the show was due to start. There were a lot of people inside enjoying drinks but it looked a little crowded and stuffy for us. Instead we went for a short walk along the beach front. There were clouds bringing rain so the sky was spectacular.
I kept forgetting to organise the tickets and finally booked about 2 days before the show. By this point there were roughly 4 tickets left for the Thursday showing and we opted for seats at the right side of the balcony. My view was slightly obscured by a light but I could still see the relevant action.
I am not a big Agatha Christie fan and this play was my Mom’s choice. I went because I enjoy the theater. Also I saw this play many years ago in London but couldn’t really remember what happened so I thought it would be interesting to see it again. For me the first act was a bit slow and boring. Also I found, with such a small intimate theater, the overacting typical of this type of show, a bit grating at times.
My Mom loved the show because it was very typical of Agatha Christie. Although even she commented that parts were a bit dated. To be fair, the show opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. The most notable example is how one of the owners of the guest house kept talking about opening tins to make food. I was appalled at the idea until Mom pointed out that in the 1950’s, this was the height of sophistication. No doubt this is why the guests were offered stewed fruit instead of a nice piece of chocolate cake.
Overall I enjoyed the play even if it wasn’t quite my taste. The theatre is in a great location and if I have a chance to visit again I would try to make more of a night of it with a meal or a few drinks.