‘Mousetrap’ old time radio play pulls out all the stops
You’d think after 64 years, the mysterious strangler terrifying the guests of England’s Monkswell Manor would finally be safely in gaol, as they say across the pond in England. But the murderer of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” still strikes fear into the hearts of audiences nightly, in a stage play that’s been running in London’s West End since 1952.
This month, the killer is at large Stateside, as Oak Park Festival Theatre and the Nineteenth Century Charitable Association present a radio-play adaptation of the classic whodunnit. Adapted by Belinda Bremner, “The Mousetrap” runs Oct. 21 and 23 at Oak Park’s Nineteenth Century Club. Staged in the style of vintage radio shows, the production will feature live musical accompaniment, foley artists creating sound-effects and station identification breaks that plug local causes with retro-style jingles.
“I think it will be a nice break from all the politics,” says Bremner. “Or, you can just imagine whose neck you’d like to put your fingers around.”
Bremner has a long history with radio plays. Her mother, the late Muriel Muriel Monsell Bremner, was a radio star, performing in broadcasts of “Johnny Dollar: The Man With the Action-Packed Expense Account,” “The Woman in White” and “Terry and the Pirates.”
“As kids, our drawing paper was the back of her scripts,” says Bremner. As an adult, Bremner has worked on contemporary radio stories such as the popular 1990s radio-reboot of “The Twilight Zone” series. “Mousetrap” marks the fourth year that Oak Park Festival Theatre has hit the “on-air” button with a Halloween-appropriate radio play. The show is a fundraiser for the theater, ticket sales helping to fund the outdoor summer season.