Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running stage play. A classic Christie, murder mystery story where any of her characters potentially could have committed the murder. However if you are going to see it don’t commit the crime of rushing to your seats without taking a look at the foyer.
A couple of week's ago I went to to see The Mousetrap at St Martin's Theatre, where it's been performed since 25th March 1974. The play was originally on at the (New) Ambassadors Theatre, next door, and managed to maintain its continious initial run by finishing there on the Saturday and opening at St Martin's on the Monday.
The bright lights of St Martin's Theatre announce the longevity of The Mousetrap
St Martin's was a slightly larger theatre with approximately 550 seats. It's a small, intimate theatre and is located opposite The Ivy, the restaurant popular with celebrities.
In 1947 the play was originally performed on the radio and was called Three Blind Mice. Its stage premiere was in Nottingham on 6th October 1952 and it briefly toured England before opening in London's West End.
The Performance Board
In the foyer there is a wooden board which displays the number of performances. I'm sure some mathematical genius can calculate the date we visited!
Memorial Plaque to Meggie Albanesi
The elegant memorial to Meggie Albanesi is by Eric Gill. Meggie studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and was considered one of the most talented stage and film actresses of her day. She had performed at St Martin's Theatre in A Bill of Divorcement but sadly she died a couple of years later, aged just 24 year old.
The display case
In a display case is a silver mousetrap, which was presented to the theatre in 1999, to mark the first twenty five years together. On the left there is the orginal director's script and on the right a programme from the Ambassadors Theatre.
In the good old tradition of The Mousetrap, at the end of the play we were sworn to secrecy not to divulge the killer's identify, so I have only revealed the treasures in the foyer.
I lead bespoke guided tours round Agatha Christie's London.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds