apropos of nothing

The Mousetrap played at the Toronto Truck Theatre on Belmont Street from 1977 to 2004. For years I walked past the place on my way to and from work, yet didn’t see the production until minutes before it closed for good. Lucky for me, I’d never read a thing about it or spoke with anyone who’d seen it or heard the slightest peep about the premise. In other words, I was completely and blissfully in the dark—the perfect condition for going in. Certainly Agatha Christie would have approved. It’s said she requested that audiences be asked, at the end of each performance, not to divulge who-dunnit to those ‘on the outside’.

It might be worth mentioning that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t flip to the end of a book to see how it turns out and if you give me a journal filled with juicy bits of gossip and ask me not to open it, there’s a very good chance I won’t. Nor do I poke, shake or otherwise try to determine what’s in a wrapped gift before its time. I’m not especially blessed with willpower, my curiosity just doesn’t live in those areas. Well, okay, the journal would be interesting…

Plus I tend to prefer a natural unfolding of events.

In any case.

And apropos of nothing—

—except that the dust on the poster on my wall caught my attention recently and reminded me how, a couple of days before we were about to see the show—in the last week of its 27 year run— Andy Barrie, on CBC’s Metro Morning happened to be talking one day about having seen the Mousetrap in London and how he was late getting to the theatre and forgot to tip the cab driver who was so pissed off he yelled after him: The (XXX) did it!

Only in his version he said Who did it.  (I’m omitting that bit in respect of Ms. Christie’s request…)

Ha ha! Oh that Andy Barrie, I thought. He does tell a good story… and then it occurred to me that… pffft… just like that, a whole lifetime of useful ignorance on my part was down the pan. 

The good news is that, in the end, it didn’t actually matter because the story is brilliant and much bigger than Who.

 [Does it ruin it for you to know the ending of a book/play/story/film?]

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2 thoughts on “apropos of nothing

  1. An actor pal of mine was in The Mousetrap (In TO) for a while. You may or may not know that one of the major roles was played by the same actor (Garnet Truax) for about twenty years. It’s rare to have such a secure job in the theatre world.

    Knowing the ending of a play or book or film really doesn’t ruin it for me, especially if it’s a good story, since a good story always stands the test of time and repeated tellings. An apt example would be the film The Usual Suspects. Its “twist” ending wasn’t really all that hard to figure out in the first place, but the great fun was watching the other characters slowly realize the truth.

  2. I do remember something about that. I’m a little sorry I saw the production only once because, I agree, when something’s done well, it begs seeing/reading often, each time offering up another layer.

    So now I have to look up The Usual Suspects…!

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