The Mousetrap was originally a short radio play written in 1947 by Agatha Christie, as a birthday present for Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother, Queen Mary. In 1952 – the same year that Queen Elizabeth ascended the English throne – a stage version opened on London’s West End. Today, an astonishing 70 years later, The Mousetrap is still playing and has the honour of being the longest running play ever produced anywhere in the world (having been briefly disrupted by COVID-19).
It’s now Australia’s turn to see the play with the ‘longest legs’ in show business.
The plot concerns seven strangers holed up in an English country hotel while a bitter snowstorm rages outside. One of them is thought to have killed a woman in London, and a local policeman, Sgt Trotter is sent to the hotel to try and solve the crime. Before he can properly start his investigations, however, one of the hotel guests is killed, and the race begins in earnest to find the killer before he or she strikes again.
The cast of colourful, somewhat eccentric characters contrasts with the play’s rather dark story of historic child abuse and murder but in Christie’s practised hands, it all works nevertheless. The Australian production is capably directed by actor/director Robyn Nevin and features a beautiful set, complete with traditional English guest-house furnishings, a cosy fire and snowflakes falling silently beyond the stained-glass windows.
The accomplished cast includes comedic actor Gerry Connolly as the mysterious Mr Paravacini and musical theatre icon Geraldine Turner OAM as crotchety ex-magistrate, Mrs Boyle. Outstanding among the younger cast members are Anna O’Byrne as guest house owner Molly Ralston and Laurence Boxhall as her charmingly fey guest, Christopher Wren.
Suitable for all ages from older children up, The Mousetrap is a ton of fun.
Sydney: now playing until this Sunday, 30 October, 2022
Brisbane: 4-20 November, 2022
Adelaide: 31 December, 2022 – 15 January, 2023
Melbourne: From 17 February, 2023.