St Martin’s Theatre, London
Guest reviewer: Shaun Dicks
The Mousetrap at the St Martin’s Theatre has been a staple of the West End for many years. Sixty years, in fact, making it the longest-running show in the world. As we were told at the beginning of the night’s performance ‘Not bad for a show that Agatha Christie hoped would have a nice little eight month run’. Christie and her works are a pillar of English literature and she was a true trailblazer of the ‘Who Dunnit?’. Its 60th anniversary gala arrived on 12 April 2018 with a celebration of the prestige and longevity that all shows dream of.
The plot of the show is simple enough, eight seemingly random people of all different backgrounds and histories come together to a guest house, one being a police officer trying to crack the latest high-profile murder case that could involve those staying there. But with heavy snow falling and no communication to the outside, the games begin. There is another murder in the guest house, and it’s anyone’s guess who committed the crime.
The Mousetrap takes you back to a different era, where the pioneering technology is the wireless, (the radio, for younger readers), where there are no televisions or mobile phones; where seclusion really meant seclusion. The show is very much a delight, the first half is full of rich language, situational humour, and a wonderful classic aesthetic. It’s wonderful to be immersed in such a stylised and all-encompassing world. The second half is equally inclusive of all these qualities, but as the investigation breaks down and we get to the gritty part of the story, it feels a little bit clunky; a minor flaw in an otherwise wonderful night of entertainment.
It is a wonderful feat to become the longest-running show ever, and it adds to the already glittering prestige of Agatha Christie. It’s a wonderful night of classic British entertainment. Do you want to know who dunnit? Go down to the St Martin’s Theatre to find out.