The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the world, will make its Broadway debut. The announcement was made on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the production of Agatha Christie’s play in London.
The only surviving piece from the original collection from 1952, a mantel clock, will be loaned from London for a run in New York when it opens in 2023. The play will be co-produced by UK producer The Mousetrap, Adam Spiegel, and US producer Kevin McCollum, whose credits include Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights and Broadway outings for the British am-dram parody The Play That Goes Wrong and the musical Six.
McCollum said the Christie murder mystery “changed the popular stage” and has long been a draw for American visitors to London. Theater-goers are encouraged to keep the killer’s identity a secret in the play, as a group of strangers is snowed in at a remote guesthouse.
Almost a third of West End viewers are believed to be foreign tourists. He added, “I’m excited for Christie’s huge base in North America, and for the New York-based acting company that will be joining the ranks of Mousetrap alumni.” Casting has not been confirmed.
Known as the “Queen of Crime”, Christie has performed on Broadway several times including The Fatal Alibi, based on her novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, in 1932. The courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution, now plays at County Hall in London , ran from 1954 to 1956 in New York.
But her most famous play, which starred married actors Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim when it opened in 1952, never made it to New York. “After the longest out-of-town tryout in history,” Spiegel said, “The Mousetrap is finally ready to move to Broadway.” He added that the London production “has become more popular than ever, and has shown real resilience since Covid, with massive numbers of Americans arriving to see it, and so I felt it was time to stand up and take it to Broadway”.
The Mousetrap also released a cartoon special, celebrating the 70th anniversary of its London opening, drawn by Nick Newman of Private Eye. The show has been played nearly 29,000 times in London, and only Covid has interrupted its ongoing run. The 70th anniversary tour opened at the Nottingham Theater Royal in September.