The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
Produced by Doreen Page and Ann Dobby | Directed by Chris M. Worsnop
A group of strangers is stranded in a house during a snow storm. One of them is a murderer. The suspects include the couple who run the house, a curious spinster, an aspiring architect, a retired major, a man whose car has overturned in a snowdrift, and a disapproving former magistrate. Along comes a policeman, on skis, to solve the murder by rattling a lot of skeletons.
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opened in London’s West End in 1952. The 25,000th performance was celebrated in 2012. Other cities, including Toronto, have also had very lengthy runs of the play. And yet it’s hard to find a theatregoer who has already seen the play, and even harder to find one who has both seen it and can remember how it works out.
You have to see the play because there’s never been a film of The Mousetrap. The rights were sold very early on, but the contract forbade the release of a film until the West End production had been closed for six months. It’s still going strong.
The Mousetrap began as a radio play in 1947, under the title of Three Blind Mice. The radio play in turn was an adaptation of an earlier short story.
The Northumberland Players’ production director, Chris Worsnop, set the play in the year of the original radio play, 1947. That was the year of one of England’s most severe winters. Add to the snow and cold the severe post-WW2 austerity and you’ve got very interesting conditions for the setting of a murder mystery in an old monastery-turned-private-hotel.
If you know whodunit – shhhhh!.
“The Mousetrap” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.