The Mousetrap: Theatre Royal Bath
Theatre Royal Bath
If, in the post Second World War years, you had been asked to choose a play that would still be running non stop right into the 21st century and beyond, would you have chosen even a very good whodunit by the Queen of Crime? Maybe, maybe not.
But when you think of the huge changes that have taken place in world theatre in the 60 odd years that Agatha Christie's Mousetrap has been running it is astonishing to think that a straightforward country house murder story is still pulling in the punters in their thousands while kitchen sink dramas, sex, nudity and theatrical wizardry have come and gone.
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But then Agatha Christie and her various sleuths have embedded themselves deeply into the English culture and so it is as likely that visitors to London will want to see The Mousetrap as much as they will want to see the paintings at the National Gallery.
Now for the first time ever the play is on tour and we in Bath have the chance to see what all the fuss has been about.
I saw it 40 years ago and don't remember guessing who did it. This week I remembered as soon as the murderer came on stage.
But the culture of the play has always been that those who see it never – ever – tell anyone who
So the chances are you have the excitement, even after 60 years, of not knowing who did it.
Yes, the dialogue and some of the ideas put forward are a bit dated but the cosiness of curling up with a good country house mystery is as appealing as it ever was.
And, as always Agatha Christie gives us a thoroughly satisfying outcome.
Now that it is on our doorstep it would be a great pity not to see it. It would be a bit like not going to have a look at The Tower of London if they ever put that on tour.
It runs all this week.