THEATRE fans are buzzing with the news The Mousetrap is coming to Cheltenham.
Confirmation that the longest-running show in the history of British theatre will be at the town’s Everyman Theatre next year has created a wave of excitement among its staff and supporters.
Agatha Christie’s murder mystery has been performed more than 25,000 times, after beginning its run in London’s West End.
Now it’s on a national tour to celebrate being on stage for 60 years.
And the Everyman is booked in for eight shows, to be performed between April 7 and 12.
The theatre’s chief executive, Geoffrey Rowe, said: “The Mousetrap is a huge phenomenon in British theatre and we are delighted it’s coming to the Everyman as part of its first-ever UK tour. It is selling out huge theatres, so we are expecting it to be a massive success for us here.
“There has been huge interest in the play already and people who have seen it in the West End are already planning to bring their children and grandchildren.
“It is a classic whodunit and, as in the West End version, we will be urging the audience not to reveal the final twist!”
Tickets go on sale tomorrow for Everyman Theatre Association members and on September 6 to the public.
Keen Everyman theatre-goer Francesca Martin said: “I saw the play when I first lived in London several years ago as a ‘must see’ event.
“I’m delighted to hear that it’s coming to Cheltenham at long last and I’m looking forward to seeing it again, even if I do know who did it!”
The first-ever tour of the record-breaking production opened on September 11 last year in Canterbury and will continue through this year and into 2014.
Tour bosses were yesterday unsure about whether Karl Howman, who plays Mr Paravicini, would be performing at the Everyman, but they said that the rest of the cast for the shows had been confirmed.
It includes Joanna Croll (Sirens, Doctors) as Mollie Ralston, Ellie Jacob (DCI Banks, Misfits) as Miss Casewell, and Christopher Gilling (ITV’s Law and Order, BBC1’s Silk) as Major Metcalf.
Mousetrap Productions has licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap worldwide to mark the 60th year. The show will be seen on every continent, with professional productions scheduled for Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela and across the US and Canada. It will also continue at St Martin’s Theatre in London.
The play sees a group of people, gathered in a country house cut off by snow, discover that there is a murderer in their midst. But who can it be?
It opened in the West End of London in 1952.
The play began life as a short radio play broadcast in 1947, called Three Blind Mice, in honour of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V.
In 1997, at the initiative of producer Stephen Waley-Cohen, the theatrical education charity Mousetrap Theatre Projects was launched.
Tom Stoppard’s 1968 play The Real Inspector Hound parodies The Mousetrap, including the surprise ending.