The world's longest-running play, The Mousetrap , is coming to Wollongong's Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.
Agatha Christie's murder mystery, which is still playing in London's West End, will be performed in Wollongong from September 5 to 15, 2024, after a sold-out capital city tour this year to celebrate the play's 70th birthday.
The play is so popular Merrigong Theatre Company (who is bringing the show to the 'Gong) has put on a wait list for people wanting to see it.
Produced by John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia and Shake & Stir Theatre Co, the play will be directed by Robin Nevin.
Nick Skubij, Shake & Stir Theatre Co's artistic director, says The Mousetrap's regional tour, which kicks off in Newcastle, will be "monumental.
"This play has been a sensation for seven decades, and now audiences in regional areas will be able to experience the very same, adored production - that has continually broken records," Skubij said.
With more than 28,500 performances so far, The Mousetrap has had the longest run of any play in the world. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.
The Mousetrap had its world premiere on October 6, 1952, at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. After a brief tour, it opened in London's West End on November 25, 1952, at the Ambassadors Theatre, where it ran until March 23, 1974. It immediately transferred to the larger St Martin's Theatre next door, where it continues to this day. Ironically, Christie did not expect the play to run for more than a few months.
The play is set in Monkswell Manor. When a woman is murdered, the guests and staff find themselves stranded during a snowstorm. It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the seven strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another. A police detective, arriving on skis, interrogates the suspects: the newlyweds running the house; a spinster with a curious background; an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef; a retired army major; a strange man who claims his car has overturned; and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. When a second murder takes place, tensions escalate.
The murder mystery features "a brilliant surprise finish".
Agatha Christie originally wrote the story as a short radio play entitled Three Blind Mice, which was broadcast in 1947 as a birthday present for Queen Mary. She eventually adapted the work into a short story before again rewriting it for the stage as The Mousetrap. Ironically, Christie did not expect the play to run for more than a few months and stipulated that no film of The Mousetrap be made until at least six months after the West End Production closed.
For more details, visit: www.merrigong.com.au.
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