‘The Rat Trap’ Review: Together for Better, but Mostly for Worse

Sheila Brandreth and Keld Maxwell are in love and about to get married. She is a novelist and he is a playwright, both at the start of their careers: It’s a union made in literary heaven, and Sheila (Sarin Monae West) looks forward to “the joy of working together and helping one another to make our way in the world.”

But when Keld (James Evans) is out of earshot, Sheila’s roommate, Olive Lloyd-Kennedy (Elisabeth Gray), offers a more jaundiced perspective. “You are much the cleverer of the two,” she tells Sheila, “and because of that I prophesy that you will be the one to give in.”

Alas, it is Olive who is right.

This is not much of a spoiler considering that the play is called “The Rat Trap,” the title revealing a gloomy — cynical souls might say realistic — view of marriage as terribly wrong for one party, possibly even both. That this all ends on an uncompromisingly depressing note is all the more startling…

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