6 Oct: The Play That Never Ends

Rerun. Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’, the world’s longest-running play, opened at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 6th October, 1952, with a cast including Richard Attenborough. The producer, Peter Saunders, predicted the production would run for 14 months.


More than 28,000 performances later, the show has become an iconic attraction in London’s West End, with a set that still includes the original mantelpiece clock present on stage on opening night nearly 70 years ago.


In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly unpick the unconventional choices Christie made with the copyright of the play; recount Noel Coward’s begrudging correspondence with her when it overtook Blithe Spirit as the West End’s longest-running play; and uncover the tragic backstory that inspired its plot… WITHOUT REVEALING THE TWIST!


There is SEVEN MINUTES MORE of us discussing The Mousetrap – including poring over its predecessor as London’s longest-running show, the forgotten fruit-based operetta ‘Chu Chin Chow’ – available to supporters of our podcast. Just join us on Patreon*, or subscribe to our premium feed on Apple Podcasts, to get it! 

* top two tiers only. patreon.com/Retrospectors


Further Reading:

• History timeline from ‘The Mousetrap’s official website (2021): https://uk.the-mousetrap.co.uk/the-history/

• “Less in it than meets the eye” – The Guardian’s original review of the production (1952): https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/nov/27/the-mousetrap-agatha-christie-opens-london-1952

• ‘Meet The Cast of The Mousetrap’ (Theatre Cafe, 2018):


‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’ Every Thursday is ‘Throwback Thursday’ on Today in History with the Retrospectors: running one repeat per week means we can keep up the quality of our independent podcast. Daily shows like this require a lot of work! But as ever we’ll have something new for you tomorrow, so follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors