Fun Facts Friday: The Mousetrap

Fun Facts Friday: The Mousetrap

Posted On: Aug 9, 2019
By LOVEtheatre Staff
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    Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap has kept audiences guessing for over six decades. Now in its 67th incredible year, this world record breaking production continues to attract audiences to the St Martins Theatre from every corner of the globe.

    In her own inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie creates an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner. Read on to find out more about the longest running show in the world.

     

    1. It’s the world’s longest-running play

    The Mousetrap opened in London’s West End in 1952 and has continuously played there ever since! In 1974 The Mousetrap moved theatre to its current home without missing a performance. A total of 455 actors have been in the show.

     

    2. It started its life as a radio play

    The play was first broadcast on the radio on 30 May 1947 called Three Blind Mice in honour of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. It was later renamed to The Mousetrap because a play of the same name already existed.

     

    3. It was named by Agatha Christie’s son in law

    The Mousetrap was given its name by Christie’s son in law Antony Hicks who had heard it spoken in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The Mousetrap is Hamlet's answer to Claudius's enquiry about the name of the play.

     

    4. Agatha Christie had her last public appearance at the show

    Aged 84, Christie appeared in public for the last time at The Mousetrap’s annual party. She died just over a year later.

    Man opening door with a torch
    Photo credit - Johan Persson

     

    5. The play ends with a promise

    At the end of each night, the cast kindly asks the audience to 'preserve the tradition by keeping the secret of whodunit locked in your hearts'.

     

    6. It hit a big milestone

    On November 2012 it performed for the 25,000th time! The 28,000th performance will be on the 12th of October.

    Cast of The Mousetrap sitting on/around a sofa in a stately home
    Photo credit - Johan Persson

     

    7. The Mousetrap wasn’t Christie’s favourite play

    Christie wrote 16 stage pieces in her career and she is said to have been most proud of Witness for the Prosecution.

     

    8. The rights were given away…

    Christie donated the rights for The Mousetrap to her grandson, Matthew Prichard, for his seventh birthday.

     

    9. It won’t be a film anytime soon

    When the rights to the play were sold, there was a stipulation that a film could not be released until six months after the play had come off the stage – and there’s no sign of The Mousetrap closing yet!

     

    10. Wikipedia got in trouble

    The Mousetrap’s famous plot-twist was revealed on the play’s Wikipedia page, however, fans launched a campaign to have the revelation removed, or at least to include a warning.

     

    11. The Mousetrap performed in a very unusual place!

    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.

    Lady sitting on a chair looking around with a worried expression
    Photo credit - Johan Persson

     

    Be part of history, book tickets to experience Agatha Christie’s classic The Mousetrap at the St Martins Theatre today. Tickets start from just £19.50 with no booking fee offer.