Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Legend of the British Stage; Darlington Civic Theatre: The Mousetrap

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Legend of the British Stage; Darlington Civic Theatre: The Mousetrap

Article excerpt

Karl Howman had never seen The Mousetrap - the longest running show in British theatre history. But now he's fully embroiled in the mystery of the Agatha Christie classic, which is out on the road and heading to Darlington. KAREN McLAUCHLAN spoke to him.

IT'S more than 60 years since The Mousetrap first stepped out into the spotlight ... and a theatre legend was born.

It was 1952 when the play made its stage debut.

That was also the year actor Karl Howman was born.

Sixty years on, he's now treading the boards in The Mousetrap's first tour, which is bringing the record-breaking thriller to audiences across the UK.

"It's an iconic production but I'd never seen it," says Karl, who plays the mysterious and dapper Mr Paravidini in the production, which will be at Darlington's Civic Theatre from June 10-15.

"I had no preconceived ideas when I took the part and approached the character in my own way.

"But turning 60 in the same year as the play's 60th anniversary was also part of the reason I took the role."

Karl is well known for many TV roles including playing cheeky chappy house painter Jacko in the mid-1980s and early-1990s BBC TV sitcom Brush Strokes.

The Mousetrap is famous around the world for being the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre - with almost 25,000 performances.

Its first British tour began last year, to mark the play's 60th anniversary.

The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.

It is known for its twist ending, which at the end of every performance the audience is asked not to reveal - preserving The Mousetrap's mystery.

And Karl is keeping his cards close to his chest when speaking of his character, and the play itself. …

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