Mouse-traps a new show lover at 92 years old

Iris Dockery visits the theatre for the first time at 92 with former cast member and neighbour Ray Charman
Iris Dockery visits the theatre for the first time at 92 with former cast member and neighbour Ray Charman
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Practically everyone has enjoyed a visit to the theatre in their life but for one 92-year-old it was her first time when she saw The Mousetrap.

Iris Dockery lives in sheltered accommodation at Bankside, Wendover, and it was only after a chance conversation with neighbour and former Mousetrap performer Ray Charmen, 72, that her ambition to see a show came true.

She said: “I was just never able to afford it when I was younger.

“We just happened to be talking in the common room one day and I told Ray I had never been to the theatre.

“That’s how it all got started. I had no idea he would be able to do all this.”

Mr Charmen helped organise the day for the former Army driver at the Waterside Theatre and she was presented with a commemorative programme and mug celebrating 60 years of the show.

And in an added bonus she was the 250,000th customer to have ever seen the Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Mrs Dockery said she could tell she enjoyed the performance because she didn’t nod off halfway through.

“It was very good,” she said. “If another show comes along that I like I’ll go again. It’s very tricky with a wheelchair sometimes, though.”

Mr Charmen, who played Mr Paravacini in the show on the West End in 2000 for 10 months, said : “She told me about a year ago and I was amazed. I thought how could anybody get to 92 and not have been to the theatre?

“It was always in the back of mind that there needed to be something done about it.

“As a production I think this one is better than the West End version.”

Mrs Dockery has spent the majority of her life living in Rickmansworth and joined the Army at just 19 as a driver in the Second World War.

During that time she drove ambulances, cars and even lorries to help the war effort.

But after marrying, she left the forces to look after her four children.

She added: “My husband didn’t agree with me going out to work.”

The pensioner did add that she had once attended a pantomime but never a show like Mousetrap.