Vashon High School thespians build a better ‘Mousetrap’

The theatre program is giving island audiences a rare glimpse of Agatha Christie’s enduring mystery.

For nearly 70 years and 30,000 performances, “The Mousetrap” has reigned in London’s West End stages.

Now the Vashon High School theatre program is giving island audiences a rare glimpse of Agatha Christie’s enduring mystery.

Agatha Christie’s iconic murder mystery traps a group of strangers in a guest house during a snowstorm, with the intrepid Sergeant Trotter searching through layers of deceit, humor, and eccentric behavior in search of the truth.

For years, audiences could only see the play on the promise that they not reveal the ending to anyone.

VHS drama director Andy James will ask island audiences to keep that promise.

“Every bit of the ground shifts in every direction during this show,” James said. “It’s so expertly crafted that no one pins it down right the first time.”

The show marks the directorial debut of senior Theo Strain, who lasted as the show’s stage manager for less than a full rehearsal.

“About a half hour into our first real rehearsal, I could feel Theo knew exactly how to run this show, so I handed over the script,” James said. “The actors love this outcome, and so do I.”

The show features a veteran cast, with every actor having performed on the VHS stage before, most of them more than once.

Chloe Bay, in her final show at VHS, and Mateo Grey play the young couple running the home-stay in the English countryside.

Chris Wechkin, last seen as the title character in “The Witch of Edmonton,” arrives as Sergeant Trotter to sort everything out.

The remainder of the cast includes Isaac Huff, Adam Ingalls, Ella Saffery, CJ Clemmensen, and Henry Sutherland.

The show premieres at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, and will also be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. The show will continue with two more 7 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11, at Vashon High School Theater.

Tickets are available only at the door, with a $12 general admission and $10 for students and seniors.