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Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap

Initially premiering in London's West End in 1952, the world's longest-running play is coming to Brisbane — again.
By Sarah Ward
February 07, 2023
By Sarah Ward
February 07, 2023

Calling all sleuths of Brisbane — 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 back in 2022, then you'd best make a new date with The Mousetrap.

Here are two questions for you to solve before you get there: why is it a big deal when is it coming your way once more? The answers: as well as being penned by Christie, it's the world's longest-running play; and after last year's season proved such a hit — and a sellout — it's returning to Brisbane's QPAC Playhouse from Friday, May 26–Sunday, June 11.

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 last year, 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 death. 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.

Images: Brian Gleach.

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