“The Mousetrap” celebrates 50 years at St Martin’s Theatre

“The Mousetrap” celebrates 50 years at St Martin’s Theatre
Must see  -   Theatre

When most people think of theatre productions with legendary longevity, their mind goes to Broadway. After all, the North American mecca of musicals and beyond has been home to the likes of Wicked, The Lion King, and The Phantom of the Opera, each holding decades under their belts. But even these feats pale in comparison to the well-lived and loved gem of London’s West End, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.


The Mousetrap has just recently celebrated its fiftieth year at its home in St Martin’s Theatre. This alone is a grand achievement, but truly, the show has been running in the West End for seventy years, having switched over from its original home of Ambassadors Theatre after running there from 1952 to 1974. The only interruptions in its run have been two days while it moved theatres and a year and two months during the pandemic. St Martin’s is denoted by its proud neon sign for The Mousetrap and has a wooden sign within clocking how many performances have shown—now upwards of 29,500.


Agatha Christie’s piece started out as a radio play entitled Three Blind Mice, before spinning into a short story—one that Christie demanded not be published in the UK so long as the show ran—and was inspired by the real-life death of a young boy in foster care. The Mousetrap is a whodunit murder mystery of several guests snowed in at a lodge as a woman’s murder is investigated. A standard piece of mystery work with a requisite twist ending, the sheer continuity of the show has become the true reason tourists flock to it.


While there is often dismay as to the future of theatre at large, and while there are certainly many theatrical artifacts that could do with supplanting to breathe new life into the medium, The Mousetrap is a pleasant and present reminder of an era gone by. There is little to wish it except another fifty years at home in the West End.