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Photo: James Morgan
Photo: James Morgan
by Agatha Christie
Produced in New Zealand by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick in association with Adrian Barnes and by arrangement with Mousetrap Productions Ltd London

at St James Theatre, Wellington
From 15 Nov 2012 to 24 Nov 2012

Reviewed by:  John SmytheEwen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post); Lynn Freeman (Capital Times);



The world's most famous thriller, Agatha Christie's iconic play The Mousetrap will play a New Zealand exclusive season in Wellington of 12 performances only at the St. James Theatre from November 15 - 24. Following sold out seasons across Australia this critically acclaimed production is coming to Wellington for an exclusive New Zealand season. 

2012 marks The Mousetrap's (60th) Diamond Anniversary and this new production, which has been playing to capacity houses in Australia since June, is one of 60 professional productions that have been licensed worldwide in year-long global celebrations of the milestone, which will have included productions in every continent with productions in countries from Russia and China to Turkey, Holland and Venezuela. 

The Mousetrap is the longest running show of any kind in the world and continues to delight audiences to this day at London's St. Martin's Theatre. Christie's classic ‘whodunit” opened on London's West End in November 1952 and has since played over 24,000 performances.

The Mousetrap is produced in New Zealand by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick in association with Adrian Barnes and by arrangement with Mousetrap Productions Ltd London and is proudly supported by Positively Wellington Venues.

Producer Louise Withers said, "With seasons selling out fast in Australia, we are delighted to have the opportunity to now bring this critically acclaimed production to New Zealand, and for Wellington to be its exclusive host.  We know that New Zealand audiences will delight in trying to solve this classic whodunit as have many audiences before them".

Chief Executive of Positively Wellington Venues Glenys Coughlan said, “The venues team is delighted to be working with the international producers to bring The Mousetrap to Wellington. 
Not only is bringing a stage show with The Mousetrap's pedigree to Wellington a real catch for us, but it's a fantastic opportunity to promote the fact that Wellington is a great arts market that supports a wide range of shows and productions.”

“ As a venue management company our aim is to start securing more exclusive seasons for Wellington and by partnering with international producers we can populate Wellington's performance calendar to complement shows like WoW and festivals like the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts."

The Mousetrap will play its New Zealand exclusive season at the St James Theatre, in the heart of Wellington's vibrant entertainment district.

“It's both fantastic and fitting that the culture capital has secured the world's longest running show as a New Zealand exclusive”,added Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks.

“New Zealanders love great theatre and great nights out in Wellington. We look forward to many visitors being drawn to experience this classic whodunit in the heart of the city's entertainment district, where St James Theatre is surrounded by a string of the culinary capital's show-stopping bars and restaurants.”

Fondly referred to as the “Queen of Crime”, Agatha Christie is the world's best-selling storyteller with a strong following today, almost one hundred years since publication of her first novel and ardent fans of all ages the world over.

Originally written by Christie as a radio play titled Three Blind Mice and broadcast in 1947, Christie then adapted the radio play for a short story of the same name before again rewriting for the stage as The Mousetrap.

The Mousetrap has never been adapted for film. 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 six months after the West End Production closed. As the show celebrates its 60th anniversary and continues its historic London run a film adaptation looks unlikely.

Agatha Christie's iconic play will be brought to life by a stellar cast, which includes Robert Alexander (Bell Shakespeare, Dance Academy, Muriel's Wedding), Travis Cotton (MTC's Hamlet, Black Swan's Away), Linda Cropper (Offspring, Melba, Little Fish, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries), Nicholas Hope (AFI recipient; Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Bad Boy Bubby), Jacinta John (All Saints, McLeod's Daughters), Gus Murray (Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, McLeod's Daughters), Justin Smith (Bastard Boys, Rent, Billy Elliot the Musical) and Christy Sullivan (MTC's Next to Normal, Packed to the Rafters). 

Producer of The Mousetrap in London, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen said,“It seemed fitting to commemorate The Mousetrap's 60th year in a way that reached beyond London. Generations of New Zealanders have attended and enjoyed the show and when we decided to celebrate with 60 professional productions in 60 countries it was also a way to give those generations a chance to revisit and share the excitement of The Mousetrap with friends and family who may not have been to London and had the opportunity to see the show, which continues its West End run night after night.”

Having thrilled audiences that span many generations, The Mousetrap continues to delight new theatregoers with all the classic elements that have made Agatha Christie's works as appealing today as when they were first written.

With only 12 performances in New Zealand and exclusive to Wellington, this is a rare opportunity to see The Mousetrap in this official 60th Anniversary Diamond Australasian Tour.

At Monkswell Manor, the news on the radio reports that a murder that has recently taken place in London. Mollie and Giles Ralston, the young owners of the once-regal estate recently converted into a guesthouse, hardly notice the news. They are far too busy preparing for the arrival of their first guests and concerned that the heavy snowfalls may prevent the guests reaching their destination. As the guests arrive safely and the Manor becomes snowed in, a policeman arrives on skis suspecting that one of the seven occupants may be the killer.  After a second murder occurs in the Manor, Sergeant Trotter is convinced.  Suspects include the young married couple, a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired army major, and an unexpected visitor who claims his car has run into a snowdrift.  During his interrogation, Sergeant Trotter uncovers the many mysterious secrets of everyone present, as he tries to solve the murder in true Christie style. 

(60th) Diamond Anniversary Tour
St. James Theatre, Wellington  
November 15 – 24, 2012

Tickets from Ticketek
Tel: 0800 TICKETEK or (04) 384 3840 from a mobile