We’re caught in a Mousetrap, we can’t walk out…

..because we’ve paid too much baby. I wrote a few days ago about my predilection for watching too much television. Together with various printed media of books, newspapers and magazines TV forms the major part of my cultural life. Note to self, do something about this!

On Saturday night, after our trip way down in Dixie at Southern Eleven, we actually did go to see a play ( Are you going to the theatre , sir, perhaps you would like to see our pre menu…..not again)  We had booked to see The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie which opened in London in 1952 and continues to the present day. Our seats were not the best, right at the back of the circle; even with the opera glasses, one could not see the actors’ faces. We were not engaged. This play dates from a year when tea rationing had only just finished, Sooty and the Flower Pot Men made their debut on early Television and Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister. No concessions were made to the present day, it was like watching a local Am-Dram production, the dialogue all: “Oh yes, do Darling” and “Most peculiar”. The play is set in Monkswell Manor in a snow storm, with all the “action” taking place in one room. It was like watching a game of Cluedo, but not as exciting. Maybe it would have been better in Black and White.

Perhaps this is just one of those things that people do when they go to London like obligatory trips to the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds and being shepherded around Borough Market by your hip London-living offspring: “Put the Papaya down, papa !”

The play’s characters were wooden and completely overacted for the most part but they had my sympathies working with such a dated plot, script and setting. But I felt virtually nothing for any of them, and the most entertaining part was the charade at the end when the cast appear for their curtain call and the audience are entreated never to reveal the true murderer.

I recall some lines of Philip Larkin’s : ” Man hands on misery to man, it deepens like a coastal shelf….fools in old-style hats and coats”; this thing perpetuates and carries on, as inevitable (and about as entertaining) as death and taxes.

Another tick in the box , I suppose. Now at the end of an interesting evening, as we walked back to the station , some 2 hours past our age-related and self-imposed curfew, the madness was just beginning with the young hordes massing on every corner in fatal combinations of drink and fancy dress. As we passed Yates’s Wine Lodge on the corner of Portland Street and Chorlton Street, the picture windows displayed a scary tableau of a fat girls’ disco fuelled by Vodka, Rose Pinot grigio and Mango Reef. A quick double take confirmed they were not actually in Halloween dress, it just seemed so…the Piccadilly 10.45 to New Mills welcomed us aboard like a scene from Von Ryans Express. I hope that’s on when we get back.

And just to show I am not alone:

Citylife review

Manchester Theatre

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