This Sunday 18th November saw famous faces including Miranda Hart, Hugh Bonneville and Iain Glen perform a unique staged reading of Agatha Christie's record-breaking play as part of the show's ongoing 60th birthday celebrations. The cast which also included Julie Walters and Patrick Stewart had only 8 hours to rehearse and thus carried their scripts for the gala performance but still admitted they were nervous about doing the show justice.
Green Wing and Episodes star Tamsin Greig, recently seen on stage in Jumpy at the Duke Of Yorks Theatre, took on the role of Mrs Ralston. She admitted that her biggest fear was of handling the various props involved in the staging of the show that are key to the plot, saying "Can you imagine if I had put them in the wrong place, and not hidden them away?!" Chariots Of Fire star Nicholas Farrell, who portrayed detective sergeant Trotter added "One of the tricky things is that there are so many entrances and exits and it operates pretty quick-fire"
Christie gifted her grandson Matthew Prichard with the royalties of the show for his ninth birthday. He has since donated them to good causes and was on hand on Sunday night to welcome the audience. The proceeds from the sellout performance are to go to Mousetrap Theatre Projects, which is a theatre education charity that also receives funding from the main production to open out theatre to disadvantaged and special needs children.
The show was originally only scheduled to perform for six weeks when it opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in 1952 with Richard Attenborough and his wife Sylvia Sim heading the cast. It transferred to the St Martins Theatre in 1973 and has now played over 25,000 performances. It has held the title of the world's longest-running play since 1958. Prior to the special show on Sunday a permanent memorial to Agatha Christie was unveiled at nearby St Martin's Cross.
The show is currently booking until 21 December 2013.
Book tickets for The Mousetrap at St Martin's Theatre here