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Vicksburg Theatre Guild to perform ‘The Mouse Trap’ in February

A murder has taken place and there are eight suspects. Now the only question is, who dunnit?

The Vicksburg Theatre Guild is set to perform the “The Mouse Trap,” a play “in which one murder takes place on stage and another is threatened,” director Paul Ballard said.

Written by Agatha Christie for the Royal family in 1947, Ballard said, he chose the “The Mouse Trap” in an effort to add variety to the guild’s performance season.

“I began considering possibilities for this season and it occurred to me that a murder mystery would contribute some variety,” Ballard said.

“Agatha Christie immediately came to mind so I sought out possibilities from Amazon,” he said.

“The Mouse Trap” was selected, Ballard said, because of its suitability for the stage and it has never before been performed on the VTG stage.

Set in a Manor House outside London, the play begins with Giles and Mollie Ralston, the new young owners of the property, preparing for their houseguests.

The weather progressively worsens as each guest arrives, ultimately trapping them in the home.

And then what transpires is where the mystery begins.

“Each guest is quite a character and each in his own way presents a likely suspect for the murderer,” Ballard said.

And with a surprise ending, up until the last page of dialogue because everyone is a suspect, Ballard said, “Any of the seven could be either the murderer or the final victim.”

Ballard said he has enjoyed directing the show and working with the actors.

“The cast has been a delight to work with. Each has approached his character with the intent of interpreting the character with authenticity and interest.  They feed off each other’s energy and this makes the show highly entertaining,” he said, “And I believe our audiences will really appreciate the breadth of talent and the uniqueness of this production— set, lighting, costumes, etc.”

“The Mouse Trap” is the longest playing show in history, Ballard said, but it’s not to be confused with Vicksburg’s own “Gold In The Hills,” he said, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records’ as the longest-running show.

The difference between the two, Ballard said, is “Gold in the Hills” runs discontinuously (not every week or month), while the “The Mouse Trap” has been produced in London since 1952.

“I believe the longevity owes to the brilliant characterizations and careful dialogue, and of course, the surprise ending,” Ballard said, which after the show the audience is cautioned not to reveal the ending to anyone else!

“The Mouse Trap” is set to open a 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre, 101 Iowa Blvd. Performances will also be offered at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2, 7,8 and 9 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 3 and 10. Tickets are $15, $10 for ages 65 and older and $8 for ages 12 and younger and are available at the door or online at www.showclix.com/events/10243. For more information, visit http://vicksburgtheatreguild.com/documents/2018-2019/mousetrap/mousetrap.htm.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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