Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap comes to Mumbai

Dec 02, 2018, 08:39 IST | Kasturi Gadge

After a successful run in London's West End for over 60 years, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap comes to the city

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap comes to Mumbai
The play is in two acts and is set in December of 1952, in a manor house that has been transformed into a guest house by its two new owners

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap is known to be one of the longest-running theatre productions ever made. The show has seen over 466 actors since it opened in The Ambassadors Theatre, London, in 1952, with Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim play the lead. After 21 years, in 1973, The Mousetrap moved to London's St Martin's Theatre. There have been over 2.75 lakh performances till date and it is said that there is hardly a night when the show does not play at some part of the world.

To put things in perspective, The Mousetrap has been performing since the time Queen Elizabeth II came to power. The production recently completed six decades and is making a pit-stop in Mumbai's Jamshed Bhabha Theatre this week.

The play is in two acts and is set in December of 1952, in a manor house that has been transformed into a guest house by its two new owners, a young married couple called Mr and Mrs Ralston. The guests start to arrive in the snow, and it is not long before they are snowed in, and the telephone lines jammed due to the weather. Radio news reports a murder that took place earlier that morning in the neighbourhood, where the suspect is out on a run. The mystery gets complicated after the detectives arrive at the house.

Being a murder mystery, the makers wanted to keep the ending within the confines of the auditorium only, and so they request the audience not to give away spoilers, increasing the popularity of the production. The set design and sound replicate the original production. The sound has been digitised and is clearer and crisper, and also involves the same radio announcer's voice from the original. "The voice of the radio announcer was recorded by a well-known actor of the time, Derek Guyler. His son came to see the show a couple of years ago and was really struck by how clear his father sounded," adds Denise Silvey, artistic director of the play.

One might expect that having been performed for over six decades, a few things might have changed in the production. "Quite a few things changed over the years, but now, we have reverted to the original script from 1952. There was a time in the 1980s when certain references were updated. But, over the last few years, we have felt that it serves the play well to allow it to be as honest to the original production as we can. We have found that audience reaction to this, has been very positive."

When: December 5-9, 7.30 pm
Where: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA
Entry: Rs 1,180 onwards
To book: bookmyshow.com

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