Producer John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia has revealed the cast for the 70th Anniversary Australian production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – premiering at the Theatre Royal Sydney from 8 October, before playing the Playhouse – QPAC, Brisbane from 3 November 2022 and the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne from 17 February 2023.
International theatre star Anna O’Byrne (My Fair Lady, Love Never Dies) will play Mollie Ralston, the young owner of Monkswell Manor – a Victorian era estate that has recently been converted into a guest house.
Helpmann Award winner Alex Rathgeber (Anything Goes, The Phantom of the Opera) will play Giles Ralston, Mollie’s husband of one year. Laurence Boxhall (As You Like It, Jumpy) will be Christopher Wren, a flighty and neurotic young guest at Monkswell Manor.
As the seriously unpleasant retired magistrate Mrs Boyle, Geraldine Turner (Present Laughter, Don’s Party) returns to the stage, alongside Adam Murphy (Shakespeare in Love, Aladdin) as retired British military officer Major Metcalf. In her professional stage debut, Charlotte Friels will play Miss Casewell, who remains mysteriously aloof from the other guests.
As Mr Paravicini, an unexpected guest at Monkswell Manor, will be the legendary Gerry Connolly (Cyrano de Bergerac, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) while Belvoir favourite Tom Conroy (Jasper Jones, My Brilliant Career) will play Detective Sergeant Trotter.
Jack Bannister (Romeo and Juliet, Lysa and The Freeborn Dames), Elisa Colla (My Fair Lady, Wicked) and Chris Parker (Daylight Savings, The Club) complete the cast as standbys.
The Mousetrap will be directed by Australian theatre icon Robyn Nevin. Costume design and associate set design is by Isabel Hudson, and lighting design by Trudy Dalgleish.
“I’m thrilled with the stellar cast that director Robyn Nevin has assembled for this new production of an enduring and much-loved murder mystery,” said John Frost.
“I’m also delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response to the news that The Mousetrap will be playing in Sydney, so I’m extremely glad to bring the show to Brisbane and Melbourne as well, celebrating its 70th anniversary. Will you solve the mystery and pick the murderer?”
The Mousetrap had its world premiere on 6 October 1952 at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. After a brief tour, it opened in London’s West End on 25 November 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre, where it ran until 23 March 1974. It immediately transferred to the larger St Martin’s Theatre next door, where it continues to this day.
The longest-running West End show, it has by far the longest run of any play anywhere in the world, with over 28,500 performances so far. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.
Agatha Christie originally wrote the story as a short radio play entitled Three Blind Mice, which was broadcast in 1947 as a birthday present for Queen Mary. She eventually adapted the work into a short story before again rewriting it for the stage as The Mousetrap.
Ironically, Christie did not expect the play to run for more than a few months and stipulated that no film of The Mousetrap be made until at least six months after the West End Production closed. 70 years on, as the show continues its historic London run, a film adaptation looks unlikely at this stage.
After a local woman is murdered, the guests and staff at Monkswell Manor find themselves stranded during a snowstorm. It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the seven strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another.
A police detective, arriving on skis, interrogates the suspects: the newlyweds running the house; a spinster with a curious background; an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef; a retired Army major; a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift; and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone.
When a second murder takes place, tensions and fears escalate. This record-breaking murder mystery features a brilliant surprise finish from the foremost mystery writer of all time.
For 70 years, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has kept millions of people from every corner of the globe on the edge of their seats. It is the genre-defining murder mystery from the best-selling novelist of all time … case closed! Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?
The Mousetrap plays the Theatre Royal Sydney from 8 October, before heading to the Playhouse – QPAC, Brisbane from 3 November 2022 and the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne from 17 February 2023.
Image: UK cast of The Mousetrap – photo by Matt Crockett