When he started directing stage productions 30-years ago, Eric Low never thought he’d get such a rousing reception by the audience Friday evening.
Lowe’s portrayal of Agatha Christie’s, The Mouse Trap, captivated the joyful spirits of the overlooking crowd at Yates Memorial Centre. The murder/mystery play first opened in West London in 1952 and has run continuously ever since.
“I tried to give the production my own look,” said Low.
He took ideas from other plays such as using a wrench, similar to one of the murder weapons used in Clue. All the actors were permitted to bring a prop to add to an element of texture and quirkiness that Low was looking for.
When asked what he found most challenging about directing The Mouse Trap, Lowe replied, “It’s been done so many times before and I really wanted to put our own stamp on it.”
One of the ways Low did this was by introducing the element of the voice on the radio, which was made famous in Hitchcock plays. Low found himself taking on cameo, being an actor himself.
“I just thought it would be fun to see if the audience could find me while I’m doing it,” Low commented.
This was not the first time Low directed The Mouse Trap.
“I directed The Mouse Trap 20-years-ago and didn’t want to do it the same and that included changing the music.”
Low is still floored by the reaction his cast received from the audience Friday evening.
“Last nights show was one of the best I’ve ever been involved with.”
Low says it’s rare when the audience gets into it the way they did. A thought that seemed to humble the longstanding member of the Playgoers Club of Lethbridge. This year is the 87th anniversary of the Playgoers Club.
“Part of the purpose of doing this show was to raise awareness and to show how wonderful the experience can be,” says Low, grinning ear to ear.
Low is thankful to the over two dozen volunteers who showed up on countless occasions to help with stage setup, concessions and other nameless duties.
Low likes to give his cast room to grow within the parameters he sets as the director.
“I always want to make sure the actors are having fun and showing that playfulness.”
Giving the actors freedom to express joy and make body movements and exaggerations to captivate the audience is encouraged by Low. To him, it’s important that everyone involved in the show is just as important and has a vital role to fill in making the production successful.
From the audience’s reaction this past weekend, it seems to have worked.