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St Martins Theatre, Covent Garden
St Martins Theatre, Covent Garden

St Martins Theatre

For the past four decades, Covent Garden's St Martins Theatre, which first opened in 1916, has been summed up in two words: The Mousetrap.

After transferring here from the nearby Ambassadors Theatre in March 1974, this famous adaptation of an Agatha Christie murder story has played night after night at St Martin’s Theatre, for more than 15,000 nights, with no sign of ending.

In 2012, the theatre celebrated 60 years of the Mousetrap’s first ever West End performance with a gala performance starring Hugh Bonneville, Miranda Hart, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Ian Glen, and Tamsin Greig, who were given less than 24 hours to learn the play.


You would think audiences would have sussed out the culprit by now, but we’re still searching more than 60 years after famous murder mystery The Mousetrap‘s first performance in London.

Written by Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap is one of the most famous whodunnits in the world, having been enjoyed by London theatregoers since 25th November 1952.

Its central characters, gathered together in a remote corner of the countryside, discover there is a murderer in their midst. But, as ever, the question is: who did it?

Giles and Mollie Ralston run a hotel in the country, but when a snowstorm hits the area they find themselves far busier than expected.  They open the doors to more guests than usual – good for business – but a phone call from the local police changes the tone. A dangerous murderer is on the loose, and all of a sudden, they can’t trust anyone.

Giles and Mollie, along with their new guests – Mrs Boyle, Christopher Wren, Miss Casewell, Major Metcalf and Mr Paravicini – spend the proceeding hours on edge, all wondering where the night will take them and if they’ll ever find the killer.

The Mousetrap is by far the longest running play in the world, opening in Nottingham on 6 October 1952 and transferring to the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952.

The Mousetrap ran there until 23 March 1974, when it moved next door to the larger St Martin’s Theatre, reopening to the public on Monday 25 March.  It has been playing at the St Martin’s ever since, and is a much-loved cornerstone of London’s thriving theatre scene.

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St Martins Theatre, Covent Garden