BENGALURU : A snow storm descends on Monkswell Manor, a charming countryside guest house run by the newlyweds, Giles and Mollie Ralston. The wireless radio reports a gruesome and mysterious murder earlier that morning on Culver Street, London, with the suspect slipping away unidentified. That’s the backdrop of Agatha Christie’s classic play, The Mousetrap, set in 1952. The play, the longest running theatre production in the world, in which over 474 actors have appeared in more than 28,000 performances, will now be performed in the city.
The biggest challenge, director Denise Silvey tells CE, is to retain its novelty. “It’s very important to keep the piece fresh. If the actors are truthful and believe in their parts, the viewers will also buy into the whole story. We have tried to keep it close to Christie’s work, but we did bring in some minor changes to suit the audiences,” says the 60-year-old artistic director of West End Production.
The freshness is also retained by changing the cast every six months, while the directors are changed every three years. The play now features Helen Clapp, Tom Rooke, and Jamie Hutchins among the lead actors. Each of them brings a distinct nuance, says Silvey. “I love working with different actors as they all bring so much to the play. It’s exciting to see what every actor brings and I make adjustments when I see who I am working with,” she adds.
While the whole play is close to Silvey, there is one character very close to her. “Since I was originally playing Miss Casewell in the play some years ago, I still have a soft spot for her. But it has got a lot of funny elements which the audience can look forward to,” says Silvey, who was introduced to Christie by her mother when she was about nine. She read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd at that time, and immediately fell in love with the detective works.
The Mousetrap had travelled to Mumbai last year, but this is the first time it’s coming to Bengaluru and Chennai. “I am looking forward to visiting Chennai and Bengaluru,” she says. “I loved our trip before, and now I want to see other places. Everyone has been so friendly and hospitable to us.”The Mousetrap will be performed at St. John’s Auditorium, Koramangala, from Nov 14-17.
The Mousetrap was originally written by Agatha Christie as a short radio play, Three Blind Mice
It has been performed in 27 languages in over 50 countries
It has three Guinness Book entries, including one for the ‘longest continuous run of any show in the world’
25, 2002, The Mousetrap celebrated its golden jubilee