Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is a West End institution, having been performed continuously in the West End since 1952 it has earned the title of the world’s longest running show.
Young couple Mollie and Giles Ralston have set up a country guest house at their home, Monkswell Manner, and are expecting their first guests when it is announced that there has been a grizzly murder nearby. The guests and their hosts become snowed in but a detective is sent on skis to investigate as Monkswell is suspected to be the site of the killer’s next murder. With all the characters behaving shiftily there is no shortage of suspects in this, the ultimate whodunnit.
Christie is said to have drawn on the real life case of a boy Dennis O’Neil, who died in the care of foster parents, in Shropshire as inspiration for the play’s storyline. The play began life as a radio play called Three Blind Mice, with the name later being changed to The Mousetrap.
Agatha Christie is possibly the world’s most famous crime writer, having written over 60 murder mysteries and created the iconic characters of Poirot and Miss Marple.
As you’d expect from a show that’s been running so long it can feel like a bit of a blast from the past however regular cast changes ensure the material is kept fresh. Part of the joy of a trip to see The Mousetrap is feeling like you’re becoming part of history as each night a wooden sign displays what number performance this is for this record breaking show (and makes the perfect back drop for a photo op!) and of course there is the famous twist which, in traditional style, the cast ask you to keep secret at the end.
Fans of Agatha Christie will want to complete their appreciation of her work by taking a trip to see this, her only stage play. If you’re after a quintessentially British experience or a taste of times gone by then this is the show for you.