Photo by Theo Tate
“The Mousetrap” is scheduled for Nov. 20-22 at the Alfresco Arts Center. Among the actors in the play are (front row, from left) Gabi Maul, Kaleigh Peery, Renee Badenoch and (back row) John Kuehn.
GRANITE CITY — Kaleigh Peery already is looking forward to Nov. 20.
That’s the night the Granite City High graduate will be doing her first play at the Alfresco Arts Center.
“This building is beautiful,” Peery said. “It’s an absolutely wonderful place. Even if you’re not here for a play or anything, the place itself is just gorgeous.”
Peery will be playing Miss Casewell in “The Mousetrap,” a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie. She said she’s excited about the opportunity to perform in her hometown.
“I can’t wait to be on stage in front of people here,” said Peery, who turned 29 Nov. 11.
“The Mousetrap” is scheduled to be the final play of 2015 at the Alfresco Arts Center. The play runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 20-22.
“The Mousetrap” is the longest-running play in history. It’s about a group of people trapped in a boarding house during a snowstorm and a body is discovered.
“It’s one of those (mysteries) where people are stuck and trapped in a location and can’t leave because of the weather,” said Dan McGee, the play’s director. “They’re snowed-in. There’s a lot of suspicious behavior, and eventually there will be a murder, too. Things have to come to some sort of resolution. There will be surprises and revelations along the way.”
“The Mousetrap” opened in the West End of London in 1952. It has had more than 25,000 performances during its 63-year run.
“It was written as a radio play for Queen Elizabeth II,” McGee said. “They decided to make it into a stage play. It’s been running ever since.”
Renee Badenoch plays Mollie Ralston and David McCausland plays her husband, Giles. The Ralstons are owners of Monkswell Manor, where the play is set.
David Boase plays Major Metcalf, an Army retiree. Gabi Maul, of Belleville, plays Mrs. Boyle, an older woman who is not pleased with anything she observes. John Mefford plays Mr. Paravicini, who claims his car was overturned in a snowdrift. John Kuehn plays Detective Sergeant Trotter. Stone Birkner plays Christopher Wren, the first guest to arrive at Monkswell Manor.
Peery will play a character who speaks about her horrific childhood experiences.
“She is sassy, aloof, mysterious and definitely a bold, strong character in the play,” Peery said. “You don’t want to make Miss Casewell mad.”
Peery graduated from GCHS in 2005. She not only was a member of the school’s girls’ tennis team, she did numerous school plays. “That’s where I started and I kind of kept up with it,” Peery said. “I took a few years off (from acting). This (‘The Mousetrap’) is my first play in years.”
Peery has been doing comedy work for several years.
“Here and there, I was trying to do improv and comedy stuff and kind of let life happen and I kind of got distracted from what I love to do,” Peery said. “So now I’m back and I’m going to work on my comedy again and try to get back on stage and do my standup.”
Peery said she was influenced by her mother to audition for the play.
“My mom told me you need to go audition,” Peery said. “I said, ‘I don’t know. It’s been a while (since I did a production). Sure enough, I auditioned and I got it and I’m back at it.”