Agatha Christie's Long-Running Stage Whodunnit 'The Mousetrap' Is Touring Australia Again in 2024
Australian audiences are getting another chance to sleuth their way through this theatre favourite, which has been treading the boards in London since 1952.
November 20, 2023
Calling all sleuths of Australia — again. If you haven't fulfilled your murder-mystery fix on the big and small screens over the past few years, and if you missed a whodunnit play hailing from the one and only Agatha Christie in both 2022 and 2023, then you'd best make a new date with The Mousetrap.
Here are two questions for you to solve first: why is this play coming your way once more a big deal, and when is it doing the rounds again? The answers: as well as being penned by Christie, it's the world's longest-running play; and, because its past Aussie seasons have proven such a hit, it's returning to a heap of cities from May–September 2024.
As well as heading to Hobart and Darwin, this tour is favouring regional and smaller spots. That means seeing The Mousetrap in Newcastle, Wollongong, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Geelong and Frankston — among other stops — for audiences in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Initially premiering in London's West End in 1952, The Mousetrap has been treading the boards in the UK ever since, only pausing during to pandemic venue closures. When theatres reopened in Britain, so did the show.
Indeed, when it arrived in Australia in 2022, The Mousetrap did so 70 years to the month that it first debuted. Unsurprisingly, that hefty run means that the show has enjoyed the longest stint for any West End production, and for any play anywhere in the world. So far, there's been more than 28,500 London performances.
To answer the other obvious question, yes, it's all about an unexpected body. The murder-mystery starts with news of a killing in London — and with seven people snowed in at a guest house in the country. They're strangers, which is classic Christie. When a police sergeant arrives on skis, they're told that the murderer is among them (which, again, is vintage Christie). They all have wild pasts, too, and all those details are spilled as they're interrogated, and also try to work out who among them is the killer.
Those guests at Monkswell Manor include a pair of newlyweds who run the house, a spinster, an architect who is handy in the kitchen, a retired Army major, a man who says his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist. Naturally, there's another death as they're all puzzling it over — and a twist conclusion, which audiences have been requested not to reveal after leaving the theatre for seven decades now.
Again, it's all Christie all over, which'll be evident if you've seen the recent film versions of Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile — or the original cinema adaptations, or read the books, or devoured anything else that Christie ever wrote. And, if you caught 2022's See How They Run, you'll be more than a little familiar with The Mousetrap as well.
This theatre work started as a short radio play, which was written as a birthday present for Queen Mary. It aired in 1947 under the name Three Blind Mice, after which Christie rewrote it as a short story, then adapted it again for the stage as The Mousetrap. And no, there isn't a movie of it — because Christie stipulated that it can't leap to the screen until at least six months after the West End production closes. Clearly, that hasn't happened yet.
In Australia, the play boasts Robyn Nevin directing and John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia producing.
AGATHA CHRISTIE'S THE MOUSETRAP 2024 AUSTRALIAN TOUR:
Saturday, May 11–Saturday, May 25: Newcastle Civic Theatre, Newcastle
Thursday, May 29–Sunday, June 2 — HOTA, Home of the Arts, Gold Coast
Tuesday, June 11–Monday, June 24 — Theatre Royal, Hobart
Thursday, June 27–Sunday, June 30 — Civic Theatre, Orange
Thursday, July 4–Sunday, July 7 — Geelong Arts Centre, Geelong
Thursday, July 11–Saturday, July 13 — Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin
Wednesday, July 17–Friday, July 19 — Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
Tuesday, July 23–Wednesday, July 24 — Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
Wednesday, July 31–Saturday, August 3 — Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston
Thursday, August 8–Sunday, August 11 — Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury
Thursday, August 15–Sunday, August 25 — Glen St Theatre, Frenchs Forest
Thursday, August 29–Sunday, September 1 — Entertainment Convention Centre, Mackay
Thursday, September 5–Monday, September 16 — Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong
Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap will tour Australia in 2024. For further details and tickets, head to the play's website.
Images: Brian Gleach.
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