The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap

Murder…suspense…intrigue! Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has it all!

For 70 years, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has kept millions of people from every corner of the globe on the edge of their seats. This thrilling West End production from the best-selling novelist of all time has defined the genre of murder mystery for generations. To celebrate the shows 70th year,  this new production, directed by Australian theatre icon Robyn Nevin and produced by John Frost for Crossroads Live has landed in Melbourne and hit the stage of the intimate Comedy Theatre.

Featuring the star of the Australian and international stage, Anna O’Byrne (My Fair Lady, Love Never Dies) in the role of Mollie Ralston, the young owner of Monkswell Manor, and Helpmann Award winner Alex Rathgeber (Anything Goes, The Phantom of the Opera) as her husband Giles. The pair have great chemistry as they frantically fret over their new guests after opening their home to guests for the first time with no prior experience. Laurence Boxhall (As You Like It, Jumpy) plays the neurotic Christopher Wren, bringing the energy of an annoying younger sibling to the performance to great effect. As the seriously unpleasant retired magistrate Mrs Boyle, Geraldine Turner (Present Laughter, Don’s Party) returns to the stage, alongside Adam Murphy (Shakespeare in Love, Aladdin) as retired British military officer Major Metcalf. The two bounce off each other well with expert comic timing. In her professional stage debut, Charlotte Friels plays Miss Casewell, who remains mysteriously aloof from the other guests. As Mr Paravicini, an unexpected guest at Monkswell Manor, is the legendary Gerry Connolly (Cyrano de Bergerac, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui). His caricatured performance is mysterious and yet very charming. Tom Conroy (Jasper Jones, My Brilliant Career) plays Detective Sergeant Trotter as he expertly attempts to control the chaos that unfolds as the show progresses.

As you would expect from the master of murder mystery, the show is full of suspense with red-herring after red-herring dropped to keep audiences guessing before the final moments where the murderer is revealed in classic ‘whodunit’ style. What you may not expect when seeing the play is the comedy that perfectly juxtaposes the growing suspense as the story unfolds. The cast did a terrific job in creating levity through their fantastic comic timing and highly energetic performances. The show is very well directed, and the design is fantastic. The set resembles a traditional English country manor with detailed period wooden walls and a gorgeous central window complete with falling snow on the outside. The sound and lighting both serve to add to the feeling of suspense in the performance.

This is truly a remarkable play and those who see it will see why it is the longest running play in West End history. The Mousetrap had its world premiere on 6 October 1952 at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. After a brief tour, it opened in London’s West End on 25 November 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre, where it ran until 23 March 1974. It immediately transferred to the larger St Martin’s Theatre next door, where it continues to this day. The longest-running West End show, it has by far the longest run of any play anywhere in the world, with over 28,500 performances so far. Ironically, Christie did not expect the play to run for more than a few months and stipulated that no film of The Mousetrap be made until at least six months after the West End Production closed. 70 years on, as the show continues its historic London run, a film adaptation looks unlikely at this stage.

Make sure you book to see this show before it is gone and be sure to keep the secret for those who have not seen it yet. Nobody likes spoilers!

The Details:
  • Playing at the Comedy Theatre – Exhibition St. Melbourne from now until 26 March 2023.
  • For more info or to book tickets, visit: The Mousetrap
  • Written by: Michael Kent
  • Images: Brian Geach