Senior House Drama
Jim Porteous and Eamonn O'Dwyer in "The Mouse Trap”
After the success of last year's production - Dial M for Murder - it was decided to try yet another "whodunit" for the Senior House play. Despite a certain amount of apprehension about doing justice to a play that opened in London when some of our actors were just born and is still running, casting began in October.
|Marie Ralston||Patrick McGinley|
|Giles Ralston||Patrick Cunningham|
|Christopher Wren||James Porteous|
|Mrs. Boyle||Paul Muldowney|
|Major Metcalf||Andrew Kelly|
|Miss Casewell||Eamon O'Dwyer|
|Mr. Paravicini||Patrick Harrington|
|Detective Sergeant Trotter||Rana! Spelman|
|Radio Announcer||Eamon Faller|
The female parts are always something of a problem but this year we were fortunate to have Pat McGinley, Eamon O'Dwyer and Paul Muldowney. As Marie Ralston, dressed in a very modish mini-skirt, Pat had the necessary touch of weariness and alarm as the hotel became the scene of a bizarre murder. Eamon O'Dwyer gave us a convincing Miss Casewell; venomous and self-assured when thrown against Mrs. Royle, completely relaxed as she "twisted" with Christopher Wren. Wrapped in furs and armed with knitting-needles, Paul Muldowney's Mrs. Boyle had the waspish air of a Brighton tea-room. From the first disapproving sniff of an establishment run "without a proper staff " to the murder scene, the part moved with gusto.
Giles Ralston, the peevishly suspicious husband, was well played by Pat Cunningham especially when he rounded on Christopher Wren. However, one of the highlights of the evening was Jim Porteous's performance as the neurotic would-be-architect Christopher Wren. Jim conveyed the often mixed facets of this role with great perception.
Pat Harrington's Mr. Paravicini was a delightful parody of the obnoxious Latin. Gestures, intonation, sideburns and dark glasses in mid-winter had the authentic touch of a de Sicca production.
Major Metcalf, played by Andrew Kelly, was another superb parody. Doffing his hat on all sides, twiddling his moustache and dropping inanities about the weather, he left us unprepared for his well-timed lapse into Liverpudlian dialect and the news that he was a policeman.
Undoubtedly the most demanding part in the play is Sgt. Trotter. From the moment he makes his appearance at the french windows he dominates the proceedings. Ranal Spelman played the part with restraint, saving everything for the dramatic volte-face in the last act.
Finally, a word of congratulation to David Hanrahan and Robin Lee who designed and built the entire set as well as seeing to lights and property.