The long-running production will transfer to New York for a limited engagement after 70 years on London's West End.
In an announcement Friday marking the show’s 70th anniversary, producers Adam Spiegel and Kevin McCollum revealed plans for a limited engagement of the murder mystery to arrive sometime in 2023. The show originally opened at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal in October 1952 after Christie wrote it, under the name Three Blind Mice, as a short BBC radio play commissioned for Queen Mary and broadcast in 1947.
In a statement, Spiegel celebrated “today’s milestone” and “The Mousetrap’s illustrious run” across the pond. “I feel after the longest out-of-town try-out in history, The Mousetrap is finally ready to transfer to Broadway,” the producer said in a statement.
The play centers on the guests and staff at Monkswell Manor, stranded in a snowstorm after the murder of a local woman. When it becomes clear the murderer is among them, the seven strangers — newlyweds, a spinster, an architect, a retired Army major, a jurist and a strange man whose car was overturned in the drift — grow suspicious of one another. Eventually, the group faces not just an interrogation by a newly arrived police detective but a second murder.
The radio play, inspired by a real story of two brothers who were abused in foster care — one of which died as a result — was adapted by the famed mystery writer into a short story published first in 1948 for Cosmopolitan magazine. It has remained unpublished in the U.K. at the behest of the author, who wished for it not to clash with the stage show as long as it ran.
“I am thrilled that Agatha Christie’s beloved murder mystery that changed popular theatre and has been a landmark attraction for U.S. visitors to London’s West End for the past 70 years will now be coming to Broadway,” McCollum said in a statement.
The production will be a “loving recreation of Anthony Holland’s design,” according to the show’s website, with the unique backstage wind machine featuring the original producer’s name shipped across the Atlantic. In addition, the only surviving piece of the original set — the mantelpiece clock — will be on loan from the London production.
The Mousetrap will announce its New York cast at a later date, along with its venue, opening date and creative team.
After going on a pre-West End tour, the original Ambassadors Theatre production opened in November 1952 at the direction of Peter Cotes. The Mousetrap would transfer to its current home next door at St. Martin’s Theatre in 1974. Then-married actors Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim, among the production’s biggest names, would originate two of the West End show’s leading roles — Detective Sergeant Trotter and one-half of the Monkswell Manor guesthouse owners, Mollie Ralston, respectively.
It is described as the longest-known running play in history, having staged over 28,000 performances, according to the production. In 2012, for the show’s 60th anniversary, The Guardian reported that more than 400 actors had appeared in the cast since its opening.