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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 Sydney.
By Sarah Ward
September 02, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
September 02, 2022
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Calling all sleuths of Sydney. If you haven't fulfilled your murder-mystery fix on the big and small screens over the past few years, then you'd best make a theatre date with the world's longest-running play. Here are three questions for you to solve before you get there: what is it, who wrote it and when is it coming your way? The answers: The Mousetrap, the one and only Agatha Christie, and from Saturday, October 8 at Sydney's Theatre Royal

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. That means that when it makes its way to Australia from October, The Mousetrap will do so 70 years to the month that it first debuted. Unsurprisingly, it 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 a whodunnit. 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'e all puzzling it over — and a twist conclusion, which audiences have been requested not to reveal after leaving the theatre for seven decades now.

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