Agatha Christie thriller, the world’s longest running stage play
Going to see The Mousetrap can often be found high on a tourist’s to-do list as it's astonishing 60 year run has made it one of London theatre’s most important institutions. Over the years there have been no fewer than 382 actors and actresses appearing in the play. Some cast members are in the Guinness Book of Records - David Raven as the 'Most Durable Actor' for 4,575 performances as Major Metcalf and the late Nancy Seabrooke for a record breaking 15 years as an understudy!
Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap started life as a half hour long radio play commissioned in 1947 in honour of the 80th birthday of Queen Mary. Loosely based upon the true story of Dennis O’Neill, a Welsh boy who died at the hands of his foster parents in 1945, Three Blind Mice made a short tour of Britain in 1952 before settling at the Ambassadors Theatre. The play then had to change its name due to another show called Three Blind Mice having been staged in London only a few years before. Christie’s son-in-law provided the new name of The Mousetrap.
The show is a classic whodunit, with eight eccentric characters snowed in at a remote guesthouse, where only the murder victim is above suspicion. The audience are sworn to secrecy at the end of each performance. This tradition has been the butt of many jokes over the years (Paul Merton once revealed the outcome at the end of a television show), but there is no denying it has kept people coming and guessing for the last six decades and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
The Mousetrap Tickets