Foothills Theater to stage production of ‘The Mousetrap’

Mike Cheek and David Nielsen, as Sergeant Trotter and Mr. Paravicini, in ‘The Mousetrap.’

ELKIN — From London’s famous West End theater district to downtown Elkin, Foothills Theater will bring “The Mousetrap” to local audiences this month. The play, written by famed mystery writer Agatha Christie, has the longest initial run of any play in history, having been performed from 1952 in London’s West End until March of 2020 when performances had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

Traditionally Foothills Theater hosts a dessert theater production each February, but this year it will be a grander affair with a full meal ahead of the performance. The show will be on stage March 11 and 12 in Coley Hall at The Liberty.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Liberty to bring this show to life and also offer audience members a chance to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Chef Jeff Taylor of Liberty Catering Company,” said Foothills Theater Director Kim Arnold.

“The Mousetrap” is set at Monkswell Manor, an estate turned guest house run by Mollie and Giles Ralston. A radio announcement of a murder, and a snow storm hit just as the Ralston’s are preparing to welcome their first guests.

“Agatha Christie is my favorite author so I’m very excited to do one of her plays. We’ve never done one in our theater history. Like many of her books, the play has a twist at the end,” said Arnold.

Cast member David Nielsen has a special connection to the play.

“I saw ‘The Mousetrap’ in London as a teenager and always wanted to play the role of Christoper Wren. I did that as a senior in high school,” said Nielsen. “Now more than 40 years later, I am thrilled to play Mr. Paravicini. I have had fun developing the character such as giving him a ‘tell’ that offers close observers a clue as to whether he might be the murderer.”

“It is especially fun to perform with familiar friends again after being out of state for the last four years,” Nielsen added. “Even more exciting is seeing new people in the spotlight — such as Nicky Main. She plays a ‘charming hostess.’”

The cast also includes Mike Cheek, Vicky Zickmund, Scott Carpenter, Tommie Ann Tulbert, Newell Hauser and Brian Horton.

Tickets are $50 per person, plus service charge, and includes dinner and the show. Dinner is to be served at 6:30 pm with the show at 7:30 pm The menu includes beef tips in brown gravy, butter mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, creamed peas and onions, carrot cake and tea or water. A vegetarian option of chickpea penne with marinara sauce, mushrooms and onions is also available. A cash bar will also be available.

Tickets must be purchased in advance by March 7 at foothillsarts.org/tickets/p/agatha-christies-the-mousetrap

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