Mousetrap Tickets

St Martin's Theatre West Street, London, WC2H 9NZ
Important Info
The Mousetrap Child Policy

Recommended for ages 12 and over.


Important Information

We recommend patrons arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of the show start time.

Please note that the theatre are no longer accepting bags into the theatre cloakrooms.

St Martins Theatre will continue to carry out bag searches and accept there may be some delays to patrons, please be aware that your bags will need to be checked before being seated.
Performance Timings
Monday - 19:30
Tuesday 15:00 19:30
Wednesday - 19:30
Thursday - 19:30
Friday - 19:30
Saturday 16:00 19:30
Sunday - -
Show Info

Book Mousetrap Tickets

Agatha Christie's legendary 'whodunit' is still delighting and thrilling audiences in London's West End, as the show enters its 65th record-breaking year on stage. Running at the St. Martin's Theatre since 1974, the original production opened across the road at the Ambassadors Theatre on 25 November 1952 and has since been presented in 27 different languages in more than 50 countries around the world.

"A group of people gathered in a remote part of the countryside 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. A cracking yarn and an irresistible treat for amateur sleuths everywhere!"

The world's longest running show, The Mousetrap now has three entries in the Guinness Book of Records, including those for the longest continuous run of any show in the world, the ‘most durable’ actor (David Raven, who played Major Metcalf for 4,575 performances) and ‘longest serving understudy’ (Nancy Seabrooke, who stood by as Mrs Boyle 6,240 times). Since The Mousetrap opened 450 actors and actresses have appeared in the play alongside 260 understudies, with a new cast joining the show every nine months.

Agatha Christie became a Dame of the British Empire in 1971; her books have sold billions of copies around the world – more than any other author, after The Bible. She died on the 12th January 1976 aged 85 after giving the rights to the stage play to her nine-year old grandson Mathew Prichard.

The play was originally produced by Peter Saunders who handed over responsibility for the show in 1994 to Mousetrap Productions, under the management of Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen.

Visitors from all over the world watch The Mousetrap each week and become part of the historic story of the show, keeping the secret of the plot.

Book your The Mousetrap tickets, playing at St Martin's Theatre today.


The Mousetrap Child Policy

Recommended for ages 12 and over.


Important Information 

We recommend patrons arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of the show start time.

Please note that the theatre are no longer accepting bags into the theatre cloakrooms.

St Martins Theatre will continue to carry out bag searches and accept there may be some delays to patrons, please be aware that your bags will need to be checked before being seated.

Important information

Running time
2h15
Booking Until
Sat, 5 October 2019
Cast

Mousetrap Cast

By:Agatha Christie
Producer:Mousetrap Productions
Director: Ian Talbot


Cast List

Karen Archer (Mrs Boyle), Simon Haines (Christopher Wren), Jamie Hutchins (Detective-Sergeant Trotter), Christopher Knott (Major Metcalf), Hannah Lee (Miss Casewell), Simon Roberts (Mr Paravicini), Tom Rooke (Giles Ralston), Kirsten Hazel Smith (Mollie Ralston).

Other info: Opened 25th Nov 1952 at Ambassadors, transferred here 25th March 1974.
Reviews

Mousetrap Critics & Reviews

The Mousetrap at 60: why is this the world's longest-running play?

Agatha Christie's whodunnit is 60 years old. What's the secret to its longevity? Stephen Moss goes behind the scenes, into 'the snow room' and off to the pub for a sing-song with the cast

Quentin Tarantino came to see The Mousetrap two years ago. I wish I hadn't been told this, because when I recently caught the play, which this week clocks up its 60th year in London's West End, I couldn't help wondering what he might do with Agatha Christie's creaky old detective story. Blood, gore, black humour, circuitous chatter. It could be wonderful, although it would probably only run for a fortnight.

I had always been fascinated by The Mousetrap, which was at the Ambassadors theatre for 22 years after its premiere in 1952, before moving next door to the atmospheric St Martin's. I had registered the annually changing sign on its facade – "60th year" it trumpets today – and wondered about the clusters of Japanese tourists outside. But I had never seen it until last week, when, to mark the joint celebration of its 60th birthday and its 25,000th performance, I saw it not once but three times.

A Tuesday matinee is probably not the best place to start: 100 or so devotees in a theatre that seats 550. The first thing you notice is a wooden sign in the foyer: "This performance is number 24,993 of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, the world's longest-running play." Many of the audience have themselves photographed with it, claiming their place in theatrical history.

A young woman is outside with her grandmother, who uses a wheelchair. They ask a man in a suit for a ramp, thinking he is staff. He isn't – he's here to see the play –, but goes off to find one anyway. We are, after all, one big family. Linda Allcock, down from Birmingham with her husband, Roger, is celebrating her birthday. "I've always wanted to see The Mousetrap," she tells me later, at the interval. "So I said, 'Right, I'm 60, it's their 60th anniversary – I'll go and see it.' I love Agatha Christie." I ask if she has worked out who did it. She hazards a guess. I tell her she might be in for a surprise. "Was it a member of the audience?" chimes in Roger, a brilliant suggestion.

There are eight members of the cast, each signed up for a 47-week stint. More than 400 actors have appeared in it over the years. Richard Attenborough was the original Detective Sergeant Trotter, and his wife, Sheila Sim, the first Mollie Ralston – owner of Monkswell Manor guesthouse, which inevitably gets snowed in (this doesn't stop Trotter, who arrives on skis to tell the residents there's a murderer close by). But apart from Attenborough and Sim, few players have been headliners. The Mousetrap is not a star vehicle; the play and its author are the stars.

The drama became the longest-running show in British theatre history as early as April 1958 (plays back then didn't run for as long as they do now). From that point on, says producer Stephen Waley-Cohen, "it began to develop its own momentum". They liken it to Madame Tussauds and the Changing of the Guard – something you have to catch if you visit London. But the audience is not, as conventional wisdom suggests, made up mainly of foreign tourists. The majority are from other parts of the UK; for them, The Mousetrap is part of the London experience. It's like some quasi-religious ritual, with the audience as much a part of proceedings as the cast.

Geoff Bullen, the current director, accepts it is a rite of passage, but insists it works as theatre, too. "The play is substantial and the characters not just cardboard cut-outs," he says. "It's wonderfully structured – up there with A Midsummer Night's Dream." Charles Spencer, the Daily Telegraph's theatre critic, sees it more as a midwinter afternoon's nightmare. "The St Martin's theatre is one of the most attractive playhouses in the West End," he wrote last year, "and it is tragic that it has been filled with such tedious tosh for so long." Telegraph readers, the play's natural constituency, rounded on him.

Rather than a sleepy November matinee, perhaps I should have opted for the current touring version at Southampton's Mayflower, where it played to 2,000-strong houses for a week. "Audiences have been attentive and focused," says Ian Watt-Smith, director of the touring show, "with lots of laughs as well as oohs and aahs at the reveals." The 60-week tour has been arranged to coincide with the anniversary, but it's a one-off: St Martin's likes to protect its property, expecting theatregoers to come to London to see it. This also explains why there has never been a film.

The play is a curious mixture of 1950s drawing-room comedy and murder mystery. The key, says Watt-Smith, is not to send it up. "You have to concentrate on the reality of the situation. Everyone is trapped in this guesthouse – they have no means of contacting the outside world, and the murderer is among them. No one is quite what they seem. They all have secrets. You have to encourage the characters to play the real backstory and then cover it up, which is a challenge."

Waley-Cohen adds: "It works because it's in period and it's done absolutely straight. It's not knowing or camp." But given that most people go to see it as a phenomenon rather than as a play, surely there's an awareness of its historical baggage? "A little," he says, "but more on the part of the audience than the cast. We hope the actors are playing it as if it was a new play set in 1950."

The next evening, I see The Mousetrap again, but this time backstage, sitting with the actors. They make me feel very welcome, showing me the "snow room", where every visitor to Monkswell Manor gets a heavy coating of white flakes (made from carpet foam) before going on stage; they even offer to let me crank the historic wind machine (as used in the original production) and take me to a Soho pub afterwards for their traditional Wednesday night sing-song.

"I like the idea of being part of this great theatrical continuum," says Anne Kavanagh, who plays snooty Mrs Boyle. Natasha Rickman, who graduated from Rada last year, can claim even closer allegiance to that tradition: she is playing Miss Casewell, as her mother, Miranda Bell, did in the play's 33rd year. "She came and saw me on the first night," says Rickman, "and said it was a weird experience."

Andrew Bone, who makes an admirable job of old buffer Major Metcalf, says one reason he took the part – apart from guaranteed work for a year – was "the chance to see this thing called The Mousetrap from the inside". His conclusion? "With a Thursday, Friday, Saturday audience that are up for it, you don't hear the play creaking and it can really take off. When you get a quieter audience, you can hear it creak."

Bone and some other cast members are writing Mousetrap spoofs, which they perform for their own amusement. He says they will come in handy in February, when the cast is six months in and hitting the theatrical equivalent of the marathon-runner's wall. In them, the characters Giles and Mollie become Miles and Polly, while Mrs Barlow, the unseen daily help, is fleshed out. I imagine these send-ups are brilliant – could Mrs Barlow be the murderer? As Tom Stoppard demonstrated with his early play The Real Inspector Hound, about two theatre critics who get caught up in the preposterous country-house murder mystery they are watching, The Mousetrap must be the most spoofable play ever written.

A few days later, I get a taste of what an alternative Mousetrap might be like. At a gala charity evening to mark the 25,000th performance, an all-star cast – including Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters Iain Glen and Miranda Hart – perform a reduced version, running to 80 minutes rather than two hours. They are clutching scripts and have had hardly any rehearsal, but give a spirited account that points up the comedy. Sudden death seems even more inconsequential than usual.

Just before the gala, a memorial to Christie is unveiled close to St Martin's by her grandson, Mathew Prichard, to whom she gave the rights to The Mousetrap for his ninth birthday. What a present! The statue, a bronze bust of the author set within a book, is monolithic and apparently immovable, but whether it will outlast her creation is a moot point. The Times, in a leader this week headlined "Mystery of The Mousetrap", anticipated the day when the show would finally close. But will that day ever come?

"I don't want to be the man who took The Mousetrap off," says Waley-Cohen. "And I don't think I will be. Managed properly, I think it will run for ever."


By : Stephen Moss

Ref Link : The Guardian
Venue Info

St Martin's Theatre

West Street, London, WC2H 9NZ

VIEW SEATING PLAN


Access description: 3 shallow steps up from the pavement through double swing doors into the foyer. Box Office counter to left. Staircases have handrails on both sides. Steps are highlighted. 5 steps to the back of the Dress Circle and 2 steps between rows. 29 steps down to front of Stalls. Theatre open 30 mins before performance. Access Guides available on request.

Sound Amplification: Infra-red systems. You will be asked for a deposit. Please book in advance.

Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are allowed in the auditorium or staff will dog-sit by prior arrangement with the management. Dogs will be looked after in the Manager’s office.

Disabled Access: There is 1 space for wheelchair users in Box C at Dress Circle level and 1 wheelchair space in the Dress Circle. Removable ramp up 5 steps to Box C and Dress Circle – staff will assist. Your wheelchair will be raised on a small platform to enable you to see over the parapet. Your companion can be seated next to you. Transfer possible to aisle seats in the Dress Circle – wheelchairs stored in Royal Room corridor. For the sake of Health & Safety it is advisable for wheelchair users to bring an able-bodied companion with them.

Toilets: Toilets located a few steps up from back of Stalls, at Dress Circle and at Upper Circle. An additional Ladies' toilet is situated off the foyer.

Disabled Toilets: Adapted toilet outside Box C in the Dress Circle

Photos

Mousetrap Photo Gallery