AS part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of its record-breaking West End run, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is
AS part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of its record-breaking West End run, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is coming to the Hexagon in Reading.
The celebrated murder mystery opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London in November 1952.
It ran there for almost 22 years before transferring next door to the larger St Martin’s Theatre, where it remains today — making it the world’s longest running stage production (a record it claimed as long ago as 1958).
The play’s 60th anniversary tour of UK theatres began in September 2012, but its success has been such that it is still going strong more than three years and almost 1,000 performances later, with dates booked through to August this year.
Prior to the tour starting, Mousetrap producer Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen told the BBC he wasn’t worried it would dent demand in the West End.
He said: “Even with very good houses for the last 59 years, only about 10 million people have seen the play in London — that’s about the number for one episode of a good soap or Downton Abbey.”
Sir Stephen was spot on — the success of the tour, which has now been seen by almost a million people, has coincided with the London run recently celebrating its 26,000th performance.
Joining the cast for the tour’s 2016 run is Louise Jameson of EastEnders, Doctor Who and Doc Martin fame. Most recently, she appeared in Love, Loss and What I Wore at The Mill at Sonning.
Louise, who will star as Mrs Boyle, said: “I thought about doing something special for my 65th birthday in 2016. Just how did I get to be 65? The same way The Mousetrap has run for nearly that length of time I suppose — just second by second time has ticked away. We’ve both lasted this long and so we’ll be celebrating together. That’s quite special.”
For ticketing information and to book, call the box office on 0118 960 6060.
• TUESDAY (January 12) marks the 40th anniversary of Dame Agatha Christie’s death at Winterbrook House, Wallingford, aged 85.
The Georgian residence, where she lived with her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, had been her home since 1934, and she was buried at the nearby Church of St Mary, Cholsey.
Today her grave is visited by hundreds of people each year, and coachloads of tourists pause outside Winterbrook House, with an increasing number now visiting the
At Home with the Queen of Crime exhibition at Wallingford Museum.
The museum’s next
Celebrating Agatha Christie Weekend from September 9 to 11 will commemorate the 40 years since her death, but Tuesday’s anniversary will be marked by a simple wreath-laying ceremony at the graveside at 10.30am.
For more information, call museum curator Judy Dewey on (01491) 651127.