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The Mousetrap

"Fourteen months I am going to give it", said Peter Saunders, the play's first producer.

"It won't run that long," replied Agatha Christie. "Eight months perhaps. Yes, I think eight months."

Shuddering suspense, brilliantly intricate plot, and murders lurking around every corner... The Mousetrap first entered stage left on the 12th April 1952, and after more than 26,500 performances it is now the longest–running show of any kind in history.

About The Mousetrap Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap has kept audiences guessing for six decades. The show entered its 64th incredible year on the 25th November 2015 and this world record breaking production continues to attract audiences from every corner of the globe to St. Martin's Theatre, where the show has its own Blue Plaque.

What was going on in 1952?

(From the November 2016 theatre press release)

When The Mousetrap opened on 25th November 1952, with Richard Attenborough and his fellow film star and beloved wife Sheila Sim in the leading roles, it was only seven years since Hitler died. Much essential food was still rationed, Mr Winston Churchill was Prime Minister, Harry Truman was President of the United States, and Stalin was ruler of Russia. There was fighting in Korea, and Princess Elizabeth began her long reign as Queen. The last tram ran in London, television programmes ended at 10.30pm, and the entire TV listings only occupied three and a half lines.

During its phenomenal 64 year run there have been no fewer than 450 actors and actresses appearing in the play, 116 miles of shirts have been ironed and over 415 tons of ice cream sold. Some cast members are in the Guinness Book of Records – David Raven as the 'Most Durable Actor' for 4575 performances as Major Metcalf and the late Nancy Seabrooke for a record breaking 15 years as an understudy. An original 1952 cast member, Deryck Guyler (Please Sir!, Sykes), is still present to this day via a recording, reading the radio news bulletin.

The play is based on a short story, but Agatha Christie asked that the story not be published as long as it ran as a play in the West End of London. Outside of the West End, only one version of the play can be performed annually and under the contract terms of the play, no film adaptation can be produced until the West End production has been closed for at least six months. No film adaptation has yet been produced.

The Mousetrap – the story: 4 guests are snowed in at a guest–house, reading about a murder in the newspaper. Another traveller arrives, his car in a snowdrift, a strange, unsettling man. When one of the guests is found dead, they realise there is a murderer in their midst...

Starring (from November 2016):

Karen Archer as Mrs Boyle

Simon Haines as Christopher Wren

Jamie Hutchins as Detective–Sergeant Trotter

Christopher Knott as Major Metcalf

Hannah Lee as Miss Casewell

Simon Roberts as Mr Paravicini

Tom Rooke as Giles Ralston

Kirsten Hazel Smith as Mollie Ralston

Directed by Hugh Ross

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