Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap play is unique. It sets a new world record every day for the number of performances. The 26,500th performance took place on Saturday 26th May 2016. For over 57 years The Mousetrap in London has been the world’s longest running stage production. On 25th November 2012, The Mousetrap celebrated its Diamond Anniversary – 60 Years.
When The Mousetrap opened in theatre on 25th November 1952, with Richard Attenborough and his fellow film star and beloved wife Sheila Sim in the leading roles, it was only seven years since Hitler died. Much essential food was still rationed, Mr Winston Churchill was Prime Minister, Harry Truman was President of the United States, and Stalin was ruler of Russia. There was fighting in Korea, and Princess Elizabeth began her long reign as Queen. The last tram ran in London, television programmes ended at 10.30 p.m., and the entire TV listings only occupied three and a half lines.
Since The Mousetrap opened 450 actors and actresses have appeared in the play, there have been 260 understudies. The play has been presented in 27 different languages in more than 50 countries.
Having achieved many world records at The Ambassadors Theatre, where it opened, it moved to the St. Martin’s Theatre in March 1974 without missing a performance, and in its new home it has achieved many more world records. Only the clock on the mantelpiece has survived onstage and the original wind machine is still in use to this day. Everything else has been replaced.