The Plot of “The Mousetrap”
The play opens with the sound of a murder as the stage light reveal the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor where the young couple Mollie and Giles Ralston are anxiously awaiting the first guests for their newly opened guest house.
Their four guests arrive and each of them is, well, special to say the least. Christopher Wren is a scatterbrained young man, Mrs Boyle complains about everything. Major Metcalf is a nice and strict ex-military man and Miss Casewell a mannish young woman
Due to bad weather conditions an unexpected fifth guest appears: Mr Paravicini, a rather strange foreigner.
The weather worsens and the guest house is completely snowed in the next day, phones are not working. Police sergeant Trotter arrives on skis to investigate in the murder case where certain connections to Monkswell Manor have come up. He is questioning the owners and each of the guests. As everyone is suspicious about everyone else there is a second murder…
The murderer’s identity is uncovered near the end of the play in a twist ending.
By tradition, at the end of each performance, audiences are asked not to reveal the identity of the killer to anyone outside the theatre, to ensure that the end of the play is not spoilt for future audiences – and hence we are not doing it here as well, of course.
Dame Agatha Christie (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
Guinness World Records lists Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly 2 billion copies, and her estate claims that her works come third in the rankings of the world’s most-widely published books, behind only Shakespeare’s works and the Bible.
Christie’s stage play The Mousetrap holds the world record for longest initial run. It opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End on 25 November 1952 and as of 2017 is still running after more than 25,000 performances.