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Agatha Christie ‘masterpiece’ bound for Civic Theatre

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A production regularly described as “a masterpiece” and “a study in theatrical perfection” is heading to Newcastle next month.

After a sold-out capital city tour in 2022/23 to celebrate its 70th birthday, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap will enthral audiences at the Civic Theatre from 11 May.

“This play has been a sensation for seven decades,” producer John Frost said.

“So, I’m thrilled to partner with Shake & Stir Theatre Co to tour The Mousetrap to regional Australia for the first time.

“I know Novocastrians will love to try and solve the mystery in what is probably the world’s most-loved murder whodunnit.”

The Mousetrap had its global 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, with more than 28,500 performances so far.

The play boasts a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.

Christie originally wrote the story as a short radio play entitled Three Blind Mice, which was broadcast in 1947 as a birthday present for Queen Mary.

She eventually adapted the work into a short tale before again rewriting it for the stage as The Mousetrap.

Ironically, Christie did not expect the play to run for more than a few months and stipulated that no film of it be made until at least six months after the West End Production closed.

Seventy years on, as the show continues its historic London run, a movie adaptation looks unlikely at this stage.

After a local woman is murdered, the guests and staff at Monkswell Manor find themselves stranded during a snowstorm.

It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the seven strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another.

A police detective, arriving on skis, interrogates the suspects: the newlyweds running the house; a spinster with a curious background; an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef; a retired Army major; a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift; and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone.

When a second murder takes place, tensions and fears escalate.

Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?

The Mousetrap Newcastle season

  • Where: Newcastle Civic Theatre
  • When: From 11- 25 May
  • Times: Wednesday 11.30am and 6.30pm, Friday and Thursday 7.30pm, Saturday 2pm and 7.30pm, Sunday 2pm
  • Cost: Adult from $69.90, concession from $59.90
  • Bookings: Tickets on sale from civictheatrenewcastle.com.au or 4929 1977 and www.themousetrap.com.au

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