The granddaddy of whodunnits is the legendary Agatha Christie thriller The Mousetrap.
It has been entertaining audiences around the globe for 60 years and, for the last two, been hitting the road in a national tour of the UK.
With a cast change it arrives at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre next week and it’s a piece of classy entertainment.
Peter Saunders, the original producer of The Mousetrap, expected the play to only run for fourteen months.
Christie herself did not expect the play to run for long either and declared: “It won’t run that long. Eight months perhaps. Yes, I think eight months.”
But she underestimated the capacity for audiences to enjoy a good parlour game of trying to guess the murderer.
Its clever plot, which is full of suspense, may be creaking a bit by now but it has lost none of its impact. You’ll be on the edge of your seat.
The Mousetrap began life as a short radio play entitled Three Blind Mice and was first broadcast in 1947 in honour of George V’s companion, Queen Mary to celebrate her 80th birthday.
Queen Mary was asked by the BBC to select a special programme in order to celebrate her eight decades of life.
As a big fan of Agatha Christie, she royally requested a new radio drama. Christie quickly and yet still immaculately, wrote a brilliant play that is still as popular today as it’s inception 60 years ago.
The Mousetrap has outlasted ten American Presidents and ten British Prime Ministers.
The radio play itself was based on a short story which Christie requested to not be published until the London production had run its length.
Despite her wishes the play was published in the United States in the 1950 collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories but has still not been published in the United Kingdom.
The aura of mystery and suspense from The Mousetrap still lives on today with thanks to the secret shocking twist at the end.
The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror; that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be?
One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.
Running at The Grove from Monday, March 31, until Saturday.