The case of the Covid-compliant murder: how The Mousetrap is snapping back to life

The case of the Covid-compliant murder: how The Mousetrap is snapping back to life

The London West End is filled with ghost shows. Frontages still advertise productions that were frozen on 16 March last year, when the government advised against theatre-going. Some of the shows would have finished long ago, such as John Kani’s Kunene and the King, starring Antony Sher, which was on a limited run. Others, including Come from Away and Les Misérables, might reasonably have been expected to survive a hiatus. Both are making plans to reopen. But only one play was entitled to assume its survival until the end of quarantining: Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, at St Martin’s theatre. The whodunnit opened in 1952, and endured the cold war, IRA, al-Qaida and Islamic State terrorism to become the world’s longest-running show. Due to Covid, its 69 years are no longer continuous, but the show is scheduled to resume, after a 15-month pandemic gap, on 17 May: British theatre’s most invincible hit leading the return to work. “It’s a symbol of the West End,” says Adam Spiegel, the play’s producer, sitting masked beside an open window in the St Martin’s bar. …
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