Everything you need to know about The Mousetrap

Photo: Matt Crockett

Thinking about booking yourself a ticket for the longest-running West End show?

Read our show guide below to find out everything you need to know about The Mousetrap before you book your tickets.

Everything you need to know about The Mousetrap

What is The Mousetrap about?

News is spreading of a murder in London as a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse. A policeman arrives, revealing that one of them is the murderer – but who is it? And who is the next victim?

We don’t want to say too much more – one of the enduring elements of The Mousetrap is that you keep the secrets of the play. What we can tell you is that it’s one of the most beloved ‘whodunnits’ of all time – a true murder mystery from one of the greatest detective writers of all time, Agatha Christie.

Will I know who the murderer in The Mousetrap is?

Hopefully not! At the end of The Mousetrap performances (no spoilers ahead!) the audience is asked to keep the secret of the play’s ending in a tradition dating back to 1952. And if you go and see it, you should too! That way audiences can continue to enjoy the play spoiler-free for years to come.

Where is the The Mousetrap playing in London?

The Mousetrap plays at St. Martin’s Theatre on West Street, near Shaftesbury Avenue, where over 26,000 of its 29,000 performances have taken place.

How long is The Mousetrap / What is the running time of The Mousetrap?

The Mousetrap is 2 hours and 20 minutes including a 20-minute interval.

Who stars in The Mousetrap?

The current ensemble cast features Rachel Summers, Christopher Bonwell, Joshua Glenister, Gay Soper, Miles Richardson, Jessica Temple, Sebastien Torkia and George Hannigan.

When the play first debuted in the West End in 1952 it featured star couple Richard Attenborough as Detective Sergeant Trotter and his wife Sheila Sim as Mollie Ralston.

What days does The Mousetrap play?

As with most West End shows, The Mousetrap usually plays for six nights a week, from Monday to Saturday. It also plays three matinee performances on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Evening shows start at 7:30pm and matinees start at 3:00pm.

The Moustrap’s Tuesday matinee is a rarity in the West End where most shows normally have one week-day matinee on either a Wednesday or Thursday. It’s a real bonus if you’re planning a long weekend in London and want to make the most of your limited time by squeezing in a Tuesday performance before you head home.

Performances days often change around bank holidays and the festive seasons, so always check the show’s booking page for the latest updates.

How long has The Mousetrap been playing in the West End?

The Mousetrap has been playing in the West End for a long time – 71 years in fact. With almost 29,000 performances since 1952 it is the longest-running West End show of all time ahead of Les Misérables in second place with almost 14,500 performances.

The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952 following a pre-West End tour that opened in the Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 6 October 1952 before touring Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds and Birmingham.

It transferred from the Ambassadors to St. Martin’s Theatre on Monday 25 March 1974. As the final performance at the Ambassadors took place on Saturday 23 March 1974 the play was able to maintain its ‘initial run’ status – which is why performances today are still considered part of the play’s first run.

Like the rest of the West End, and theatres worldwide, performances were paused during the Covid-19 pandemic. The production was closed for over a year and a half, playing its final pre-lockdown performance on 15 March 2020 before reopening to audiences just over a year later on 17 May 2021. Performances since the re-opening are still considered part of the play’s initial run.

What did critics think of The Mousetrap?

Early reviews didn’t give much of an indication of how long lasting The Mousetrap would be – they were favourable but not overwhelming so, and not even Christie thought it would last as long as it has. Read our full review of The Mousetrap now.

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