On This Day (November 25th) - The World's Longest Running Play

Tags: on this day, theatre, literature

25th November 1952

Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" opens in London.

Last year The Mousetrap celebrated its 60th anniversary and marked its 25,000th performance with a star-studded one off performance featuring Hugh Bonneville, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters and Miranda Hart.

However when it first opened in London in 1952, the play’s author, Dame Agatha Christie, predicted that its run would only last 8 months.

The Mousetrap began its West End run on November 25 1952 with Lord Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim in the leading roles.

The play is set in "present time" in the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor. The first scene is set when a group of people staying in the country house are cut off by snow and discover, to their horror, that a woman has been murdered and the murderer must be in their midst. Who can it be? The characters reveal their sordid pasts one by one, until finally the identity and the motive is revealed. 

The famous who-dunnit has been the longest running show in British theatre history since 1958 and the longest running play in the world since the mid-1970s, but still shows no signs of losing its popularity.

This could be due to the fact that the play has the best kept secret as audiences are asked not to tell anybody about the identity of the murderer. One of the actors says at the end of the play: “Now you have seen The Mousetrap you are our partners in crime, and we ask you to preserve the tradition by keeping the secret of whodunit locked in your hearts.”

Audiences eager to learn the play’s twist still pack into St Martin’s Theatre in London 8 times a week. So if you're not in on the secret, you still can be! Don't miss out and book your tickets here now


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