The Mousetrap

Theatre, West End St Martin’s Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday January 5 2019
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The Mousetrap
The Mousetrap

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At the end of this elegant Agatha Christie thriller, the newly uncovered homicidal maniac steps into a sinister spotlight and warns everyone never to reveal his or her identity. The production recently celebrated its 60th birthday and although Wikipedia and Stephen Fry have both blown the murderer's cover, there is a remarkable conspiracy of silence over 'The Moustrap'. The real mystery of the world's longest-running theatre show is not whodunit but, in its currently mediocre state, whydoit at all?

'The Mousetrap's ticket prices are the only element of this show that isn't stuck fast in the 1950s – although the actors' strained RP does make the odd break for the twenty-first century. Otherwise, this is a walking, talking piece of theatre history and – at £39 for a full-price stalls seat – the most expensive museum exhibit in London.

Christie's neat puzzler of a plot is easier to defend. It has defied the inevitably mummifying process of more than 25,000 performances and still possesses an uncanny precision worthy of the mistress of murder's chilling geriatric creation, Miss Marple.

In the 60 years since it premiered, its premise, in which six Cluedo-like middle-class stereotypes are imprisoned by snow in a country house while they try to fathom which of them is a raving murderer, has become a cliché, just as the authorities' response to adverse weather conditions (skiing coppers? In Berkshire?) have become a nostalgic memory.

It's fascinating to glimpse the ghost of Peter Cotes's original 1952 production. But this is sometimes a thin and campy shadow of its former self, whose creaks arise from cliché not suspense. Christie's best thrillers have a psychological conviction and a subtle sense of evil that the current cast, apart from one or two noble exceptions, shelve in favour of xenophobic exaggeration or dullness. Christie's trap still snaps shut but the cat's been away for years, leaving the mice to carry the play.

Posted:

Venue name: St Martin’s Theatre
Contact:
Address: West Street, Cambridge Circus
London
WC2H 9NZ
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com
    • St Martin’s Theatre £17.50-£47.50, Premium Seats £65-£67.50
    • St Martin’s Theatre £17.50-£47.50, Premium Seats £65-£67.50
    • St Martin’s Theatre £17.50-£47.50, Premium Seats £65-£67.50
    • St Martin’s Theatre £17.50-£47.50, Premium Seats £65-£67.50

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:5
LiveReviews|28
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tastemaker

After 66 years running (and 60 of those as The World's Longest Running Show - beat that, Bat out of Hell!), it almost seems 'criminal' to have lived in London all these years and not seen this. 


Surprisingly funny and fresh (I thought it'd be a lot more serious), this timeless Agatha Christie still has a lot going for it, and is one of the most entertaining nights you have in the West End. Given that the cast had been doing this for 5 months already (the ensemble cast changes every 6 months), they still seemed to zing of each other and enjoy what they are doing. It is also rather fab to hear the clock used on the mantlepiece in this production is the same one from the very first performance.


Just remember not to reveal the ending to anyone who hasn't seen it before, or they might not be responsible for their actions. #KeepTheSecret


Tastemaker

Growing up in Germany meant Sunday night's were reserved for the "Tatort", a popular crime series set in different cities with different detectives. Having missed the tradition of guessing who might be the dodgy cousin or murderer I was really looking forward to finally seeing the Mousetrap.


The theater itself is worth a visit - it's cosy and sets the mood for the evening. I loved the little plaque on the wall counting the performances.


The plot takes you back to the golden age of detective fiction and is a reminder why Agatha Christie is still a well known and loved novelist. It all started as a short radio play in 1947 after all.

The only downside are the seats, they are quite narrow and if can get a bit uncomfortable, but as the play isn't too lengthy and so enjoyable, it's nothing go keep you away from watching.

tastemaker

After having finally seen the play, I am not surprise it has been showing for 60years in the West End!
The stage looks fantastic, even the smell of old wood seems more than real!
The actors have a great energy and some characters are absolutely hilarious.

As per the plot, it's a traditional (nonetheless remarkable) Agatha Christie murder story and the twist at the end is really enjoyable!

I loved how the actors asked the crowd to keep the secret about the ending of the play. To be fair, the best about this play is to get involved and try to guess who is the murderer or what are each character's story. I don't think I would have enjoyed the show as much if I had read the book before, therefore if you know what's happening is this show, please keep the secret! 

tastemaker

I mentioned to my parents that I was due to see The Mousetrap and couldn't believe they'd seen it in the same theatre over 10 years ago. Amazing to hear a production run for so long and I was thrilled to be seeing it on its 60th anniversary.


A really fun and entertaining story throughout - the kind of play you could take anyone to see. I enjoyed watching the story unfold but felt it was a little bit drawn out before the big reveal. The characters were interesting and there were some nice laughs thrown in too.


The St. Martin's theatre isn't a large space so it felt very intimate and we had a great view from the dress circle. Great location too.

Tastemaker

This was a fun night out at the theatre. It's seemingly a bit of an institution in London-- and honestly I am surprised it took us this long to go and see it! 


Acting was very good, I particularly liked Christopher Wren. It was more impressive as there were no scene changes. It was the perfect duration, long enough to have a great evening but not so long you just with it would end so you can go home (I am looking at you Fanny & Alexander!) Good for the younger ones as well -- quite a few in the audience and they enjoyed "it could be anyone" aspect, the girl behind me kept changing her mind till the very end. 


A wonderful, nostalgic combination of whodunnit and comedy. A true Agatha Christie novel!

tastemaker

Had a great night at The Mousetrap. Being a massive fan of musicals, it wasn’t as action packed as the majority of other west end shows, but it’s such a classic I can’t see how you can’t love it (even a tiny bit). The storyline kept me gripped at all times and I had absolutely no clue who “did it”, until the end obviously. Loved that it wasn’t set in the current day and brought a little bit of history into the theatre scene.

A few “shouty” bits of text but overall thought the actors were great.

tastemaker

I don't know how anyone can give a bad review to the Mousetrap. This is a true classic, carefully preserved and honest to its origins ever since it first started playing in 1975. A classic murder mystery (probably one of the firsts!), whodunnit, guest house, snow, beautiful English accents - what's not to love?


We got fantastic seats for £60 but there are cheaper options too, and although I'm not sure how often the cast changes, the current one was wonderful. I was very pleasantly surprised, and I would highly recommend this play for anyone for a fun night out!


I wish I could go back and watch it again for the first time. In fact, I might go back anyway.


We saw this show last night.....In all honesty, it was dreadful. The acting wasn't particularly great and the show was nothing short of boring. The only mystery was when would the end arrive so that I could leave. Save your money because the Mousetrap is truly awful..

tastemaker

It is like stepping back in time. It feels drawn out at times but almost a reminder of how fast our lives have become. A true classic worth a watch during the week.

tastemaker

This is a great play for people who maybe aren't that comfortable with the theater. It is engaging and compelling and keeps you intrigued right until the end. The language and the acting is also easy and comfortable however  I wouldn't say it was the best thing I have ever seen but it certainly kept me engaged and excited. 

tastemaker

Since my boyfriend is more partial to musicals than plays, I was a bit sceptical going in despite being a big fan of Agatha Christie but I really enjoyed it. As people have said, the ending wasn't entirely unpredictable but I thought the cast were wonderful and I was really invested in the characters. It's not the most exciting thing on the West End but it was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon and quite different to contemporary West End offerings.

tastemaker

The Mousetrap is one of my favourite shows in London, the theatre is really small and intimate so you get great views and are pulled into the plot quite quickly. I loved all of the quirky characters and the suspense built throughout the evening. Although the surprise 'twist' is a tad predictable, I still really enjoyed myself. The history of both the theatre and show (longest running west end show!) make this a really special performance. 

tastemaker

As a huge Agatha Christie fan, The Mousetrap was a highly anticipated 'must see' for me. However I think I would have enjoyed it even without my love for all things Poirot, Marple and friends. The Mousetrap is an excellent evening out and it's easy to see why its enjoyed such a tenure on the West End. A classic murder mystery, The Mousetrap lives up to everything you could possibly want from a play of its genre. There's intrigue, there's drama, there's a barely concealed undercurrent of farce and campness that sucks you in and keeps you guessing right up until the end. Set in an old house during an epic thunderstorm, the characters find themselves trapped indoors at the mercy of the weather and of a dastardly murderer set on picking them off one by one. 

It's one of London's best kept secrets and the play closes with the central character telling you 'you're part of the secret now, please keep the magic alive and tell no one'. I'd urge everyone in The Mousetrap club to do just that and keep this brilliantly British piece of theatre exciting for generations to come. 

tastemaker

It’s not difficult to see why the Mousetrap is the longest running West End play in London. Celebrating 67 years on stage this November, the play is a must see for murder mystery lovers, Agatha Christie fans and anyone else looking for an evening of clever entertainment, great acting and a cozy, immersive atmosphere, that will have you guessing who did it all evening long. And of course it helps that at the end of the play you’re urged by the cast to swear never to reveal the twists and turns or the identity of the killer, so as not to spoil the fun for those yet to indulge in this witty and engaging play. The premise of the story is simple but very effective: The local radio announces that a murder has taken place. Oblivious to the events that just occurred and even more so to those about to happen, a young couple managing an old school British guest house (Monkswell Manor), go about their business in preparation for the arrival of their first guests. Soon enough, a quirky set of characters will make their way into the manor and the murder news will take centre stage. The blizzard outside will add to the atmosphere and soon enough, you’ll feel as though you are one of the guests at Monkswell, trying to figure out who did it. Overall, the Mousetrap makes for a very fun way to spend a night in the West End.

Tastemaker

I thought this play was brilliant. It's old fashioned and clichéd but that's why I enjoyed it so much, it's like Fawley Towers and Murder She Wrote in one show, wonderfully camp and entertaining with an added sense of mystery. I can see why it's a classic.


I knew nothing about this show when we went to see it and we ended up seeing it because the seats are miles cheaper than most West End shows. Plus if you happen to be aroundon the day, front row day release tickets are less than £30 each (limit 2 per person)


tastemaker

Decided to pop in to see one of London's classics when a friend was in town. Fortunately there were day tickets at the box office for £28 in the front row. Definitely a bargain!


While it's not the most exciting show available, it's still engaging, and fascinating to see how the genre has developed since its debut. Full of dry English humour, the play is lighter than its plot would suggest. The show lives up to its classic status, for those that enjoys classics.


Boring, stagnating cast - could be so so much better/interesting- save your money and choose another play.

tastemaker

A classic of the West End - you have to take The Mousetrap as an experience. The seats are small, the plot is nothing new or groundbreaking, but taken as a slice of the olden days it's a good evening out. The cast were strong and handled the dated plot well and the setting was lovely.


I'm an avid theatre goer & always put this show on the long finger on the assumption it will always be on! Now in it's 65th year it shows no sign of flagging with our performance almost a sellout. Sadly I felt it was an anti-climax. The plot is adequate, at times it is scary & the twist was unforeseen but it all felt a bit dated & lacklustre. I've seen far more clever & thrilling plays so am perplexed at it's indefatigable longevity. However a highlight is the actual theatre- itself a beautiful time capsule. Also it is a piece of theatrical history so am glad it's finally ticked off my list.


Written in 1952 doesn't mean you should carry on the play just out of nostalgia. I saw this play yesterday evening, and it had to be the worst play I have ever seen in London. The acting was appalling, and it just seemed like whoever directed this has given up. Honestly, see something else.

tastemaker

A play that I think is now as tired as the set. It was mildly entertaining but perhaps didn't grab me like I was expecting. The characters were cliches, which isn't a bad thing, and what I expected but I felt at point I was watching an amature production rather than a professional one at a top West End venue. The acting on the whole wasn't great, bar a few exceptions, Emma Deegan as Mollie Ralston. Perhaps its finally time the trap were left sprung and the mice could be left to run free.

Tastemaker

My boyfriend & I took his Mum to watch the Mousetrap for her birthday and we all enjoyed it. It's a classic - London's longest running show. Yes, the plot is fairly predictable but it was fun and different from the usual musicals in the West End. 

Tastemaker

Classic murder mystery, with a quintessentially English plot. A nice way to spend an afternoon but the plot is quite easy to guess. It offers a different theatre experience than your usual musical but don't waste your money on expensive tickets. Cheap seats makes this play worth seeing.

Tastemaker

If you like old fashioned kind of plays, this is it. Agatha Christie's stories are always interesting & that's why I wanted to see this show. The theatre is quite small and thus you can clearly see the stage in any seat. Unfortunately, the seats are uncomfortable, with tight leg space - even with no one sitting next to you. This is a classic play with twists, mystery & humour, the cast plays pretty well but I would recommend it only to people who fancy Britiish old fashioned plays. It is the longest running London show and I think it needs definitely to have several modifications to become again fresh and attract new theater lovers.


This play builds and builds and builds, and you think there must be a clever twist coming...but alas, this is not to be. The storyline is predictable and to be perfectly honest, nothing of note really happens. I am genuinely surprised that this show has managed to run for so long. Would not recommend.


I took my girlfriend to see this and as our first murder-mystery theatre experience we had a great time! It was by no way 'genius' but that is not what we came to see, we came to be entertained and that we were. The play set the mood for a great night of birthday celebration!


On a damp Monday evening the audience was even thinner than the plot. This coffin of a play defies explanation for its continued longevity. It creaks and strains and is quietly beyond parody. Only worth seeing to get a glimpse of the beautiful, although shabby St Martin's theatre. As Time Out once said, waste of a good theatre.