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Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap: A Fact File

As Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap enters its 68th year of a record-breaking run, we’ve compiled some curious trivia about the world’s longest running stage production.

  • The Mousetrap began life as a radio play, which was written at the request of the BBC for Queen Mary.
  • The Mousetrap is the longest running show of any kind in the world.
  • The show has now been presented in 27 languages in more than 50 countries.
  • Since it opened on 25th November 1952, over 460 actors and actresses have appeared in the play.
  • 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.
  • The original cast of the play included Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim.
  • In An Autobiography Agatha Christie said that she initially thought The Mousetrap would only run for a maximum of eight months.
  • Agatha Christie gave the rights to The Mousetrap to her grandson Mathew Prichard when he was nine years old.
  • The late Deryck Guyler provided the pre-recorded voice of the newsreader in the first act and the same recording is still used today.
    The Mousetrap Cast, St. Martin's Theatre, Winter 2019
  • When The Mousetrap opened Mr Winston Churchill was Prime Minister, much essential food was rationed, and television programmes ended at 10:30pm.
  • The Mousetrap first entered the record books on April 12th 1958 when it became the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre.
  • In 1959 the cast of The Mousetrap, armed with various props, gave a special performance at Wormwood Scrubs prison. During the performance two prisoners escaped.
  • Originally produced in Nottingham at the Theatre Royal, it toured England before embarking on a 32 year run at The New Ambassadors Theatre in London.
  • In March 1974 the play moved from The Ambassadors Theatre to the St. Martin’s Theatre without missing a single show!
  • In 2000, the set was replaced for the first time during the run at St Martin's Theatre, still to the same design as the original. This task was completed over a weekend without the loss of a performance.
  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended the 50th anniversary performance on November 25th 2002.
  • On November 18, 2012 for one performance only, The Mousetrap celebrated its 25,000th performance (60th anniversary) with a celebrity-filled cast including Hugh Bonneville, Nicholas Farrell, Iain Glen, Tamsin Greig, Miranda Hart, Harry Lloyd, Sir Patrick Stewart and Dame Julie Walters. The Agatha Christie memorial statue was unveiled for this occasion.
  • The 28,000 performance in the West End took place on 12th of October 2019.
  • On an occasion such as cast changes or milestone anniversary performances, a cake is ceremoniously cut with a sword. The cake is in the shape of a ticker counter that keeps track of the amount of performances.
  • Every performance of The Mousetrap sets a new world record for the number of performances and after each performance the audience is asked 'to preserve the tradition of The Mousetrap by keeping the secret locked in their hearts.'
  • The contract terms of the play state that no film version can be made until the West End show has been closed for at least six months, and since it is still running—no official film has been made!

Experience the mystery which has kept audiences guessing for 67 years and book your tickets now.

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