The Mousetrap

  • Play
  • 1952

For 70 years, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap has kept millions of people, from every corner of the globe, on the edge of their seats, and it continues to be a sell-out hit of London theatre. This brand new edition of the world's longest-running play will contain a new introduction by Sophie Hannah, bestselling author of the authorised Agatha Christie Poirot continuation novels, as well as the official play script and a host of exclusive material from the show's archive.

The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.

Even more thrilling than the plot is the atmosphere of shuddering suspense . . . No one brews it better than Agatha Christie.

Daily Express

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Introducing a brand new UK edition of The Mousetrap to celebrate the show's 70th Anniversary

This beautiful 70th anniversary edition will contain an introduction by Sophie Hannah, the official playscript, an interview with producer Adam Spiegel, a treasure trove of letters, speeches, photographs, and other fascinating insights into the making of this iconic play. There is also a luxury edition available featuring a beautifully foiled cover, gilded edges, printed endpapers and a red marker ribbon, as well as four A5 postcards illustrating original poster art for The Mousetrap.

As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves in a remote countryside guesthouse. When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover - to their horror - that a killer is in their midst. One by one, the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts. Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim? And can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?

The story was adapted from a radio play, Three Blind Mice, written for the Royal family in 1947. The stage play had to be renamed on the insistence of another producer, Emile Littler, who had used the name on stage before the Second World War, and it was Agatha Christie’s son-in-law, Anthony Hicks who suggested the new title. In fact, it refers to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in which Hamlet cryptically calls the play depicting the murder of the king, ‘The Mousetrap’.

The original West End cast included Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim. One actor has been included in every performance since the opening night and that is Deryck Guyler, whose voice recording reads the radio news bulletin in every show at St Martin’s Theatre.

Agatha Christie gave the rights to The Mousetrap to her grandson Mathew Prichard for his 9th birthday, “Mathew, of course, was always the most lucky member of the family, and it would be Mathew’s gift that turned out the big money winner.” (At the time he wanted a bike.)

In 1954 the play was one of three Christie's running simultaneously in London’s West End, a feat which made Agatha Christie the first female playwright to achieve.

In 1997 The Mousetrap Theatre Projects initiative was launched, a charity which helps young people experience London’s theatre, and to which the money from the 25,000th performance was donated.

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 (perhaps no one anticipated the show’s success), however an unapproved Russian film version was made in 1990 titled Myshelovka.

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