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The Mousetrap arrives at Chelmsford Theatre next week


Next week the world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, finally arrives in Chelmsford. The genre-defining murder mystery runs for six days only at Chelmsford Theatre between 3 and 8 July.

Sold-out murder mystery has enthralled audiences for decades

Those fortunate to have secured tickets for this sold-out show will enjoy a thrilling storyline that’s kept millions of theatre goers on the edge of their seats for more than 70 years.

Written by the world’s best-selling novelist of all time, the two-act play is set in a post-war country guesthouse. There, seven strangers find themselves snowed in together as news spreads of a murder in London. When a young detective arrives, the guests discover that a killer is in their midst. One by one, the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts as the audience try to determine which one is the murderer? And who will be their next victim?

Mousetraptour May2023 1920X1080px

If you’ve got tickets to The Mousetrap, please keep its secrets so the mystery can be enjoyed by future audiences.

Chelmsford Theatre Director, Lee Henderson, says bringing The Mousetrap to Chelmsford allows local people the opportunity to see a world-famous West End show in their home city:

“It’s not often that we get the chance to host the world’s longest-running play, and I’m really looking forward to Chelmsford Theatre becoming part of the legacy of this timeless production in its 70th anniversary year.

"Our local community deserves to be able to enjoy high quality and world-famous productions close to home, and the arrival of The Mousetrap next week presents this opportunity. And I’m confident that those lucky enough to have secured tickets will of course keep the play’s mysteries a secret!”

Lee Henderson, Chelmsford Theatre Director

Councillor Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader of Chelmsford City Council and Cabinet Member for Connected Chelmsford, says the popularity of The Mousetrap at Chelmsford Theatre reflects a strong appetite from audiences to see nationally renowned shows locally:

“Chelmsford Theatre will be welcoming large audiences next week for this sold-out touring production of a much-loved play by one of the world’s greatest writers. It’ll be so wonderful to see the theatre at full capacity, reflecting just how strong the appetite is across the city for residents to see great shows at their local theatre.

"The Mousetrap is also a chance to demonstrate that we’re ambitious about our future programme for the theatre in this new era for Chelmsford’s cultural scene.”

Councillor Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader of Chelmsford City Council and Cabinet Member for Connected Chelmsford

Stellar new cast introduced for remainder of tour

The nail-biting thriller – in which everyone is a suspect – features an outstanding new cast, first introduced in May 2023. It sees Todd Carty of EastEnders and Grange Hill continue playing Major Metcalf, while Catherine Shipton of Casualty takes on the role of Mrs Boyle.

They’re joined by Rachel Dawson (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Gillian Lynn Theatre) playing Mollie Ralston and Michael Lyle (Amadeus at the National Theatre) as Giles Ralston. Shaun McCourt (Blood Brothers UK Tour and The Railway Children at Kings Cross Theatre) takes on the role of Christopher Wren, while Leigh Lothian (Lovely Bones at the Birmingham Rep) is Miss Casewell. Steven Elliott (The Crown, Holby City) appears as Mr Paravicini and Garyn Williams (The Corn Is Green at the National Theatre) plays Detective Sergeant Trotter.

The Mousetrap is produced by Adam Spiegel (Hairspray and Motown the Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre). It’s directed by Ian Talbot OBE (The Secret Garden at the Watermill Theatre) and Denise Silvey (The Dame at Park Theatre and a national tour).

Catherine Shipton, who plays Mrs Boyle, says part of the success of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap lies in the true story it’s based on:

“It’s based on a real story and it’s something that really moved Christie. I was listening to a documentary about it and it knocked the war off the front pages because it was so horrific and so shocking. I think because she based it on a true story it chimes with audiences.

"Also the events all happen in 24 hours, where all the characters are stuck in a house because of a blizzard, and it’s a delicious perfect storm. Even the weather is a character in it. Everything has to be resolved, so the tension is high from the get-go.”

Catherine Shipton, playing Mrs Boyle in The Mousetrap

70th Anniversary Tour visits more than 70 theatres across the UK and Ireland

The record-breaking production first premiered at Theatre Royal Nottingham in 1952. It toured the UK before opening in the West End where it continues its record-breaking engagement at St Martin’s Theatre.

It’s now over halfway through a major 18-month 70th Anniversary tour of the UK and Ireland, which kicked off in Nottingham in September 2022. The tour marks this milestone year by visiting more than 70 theatres, including the cities that the show originally played at in 1952 as well as a host of others.

Todd Carty, who plays Major Metcalf, says marking the 70th anniversary makes this touring show extra special:

“The show is hugely popular in the West End and it’s done quite a few tours over the years. With this one marking the 70th anniversary, it’s even more special.”

Todd Carty, playing Major Metcalf in The Mousetrap
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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.