The second-longest running show on London’s West End, Les Miserables, has clocked more than 11,600 performances in its 28-year-run thus far – but even those impressive numbers pale in comparison when measured against Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit. The Mousetrap, written specifically for the late Queen Mary’s 80th birthday at her request, began its life as a 30-minute radio show called Three Blind Mice before changing its title to the current one when its stage adaptation opened in 1952. Christie had famously suggested that it would only run for eight months or so, and gave the rights to her grandson for his ninth birthday. And yet more than 60 years and 25,000 shows later, it’s still going strong and showing no signs of aging – now, its West End cast are finally making their much-anticipated and long-awaited trip to our sunny shores.
‘It is as relevant today as it was in 1952 as people don’t change that much; they love a good story today as much as they did 60 years ago. Today it has the added caveat of being a “period piece” as well, so we are showing a little piece of England in the 1950s,’ says Denise Silvey, who has been involved with The Mousetrap on and off since 1994, first by playing Miss Casewell and then becoming production supervisor of the West End show in 2009 and directing the current production.
There are numerous reasons for the play’s enduring popularity (even if you know the twist ending) – as well as for Silvey to still be working with it almost 20 years on. ‘It’s a very good story – a thriller with good comedic moments. The characters are well drawn. Agatha Christie is one of the most popular writers in the world. Everyone loves a good thriller and hers are among the best. It’s run for over 60 years and there is a fascination in that fact alone,’ she lists expertly. ‘Working on The Mousetrap is like having one enormous family. Everyone who has ever worked on the play will say the same thing. It’s sort of like a very special club.’
She recommends the show to anyone over the age of seven (‘it might be a bit too grown up for anyone under that’) but is confident that Singapore audiences will enjoy this treat, saying ‘they can feel safe in the knowledge that whoever they bring to see the show can be guaranteed to have a fun evening.’ Find out who really is the murderer of the manor house for yourself this month! Gwen Pew
See how you can get to mingle with the cast of The Mousetrap over afternoon tea.