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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / TV, Movies & More  / Stage  /

Plays by Agatha Christie
 
Among Agatha Christie's many plays are "The Mousetrap" (the longest running play in the English language), "Witness for the Prosecution," and "Ten Little Indians."

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mike morgan - 08:04pm Nov 14, 1997 PST(#2 of 33)

I have never seen "The Mousetrap" produced, but have read it, and it's fun.

As someone with many year's experience in theatre, I have learned one simple truth: never second-guess the audience. If they like something, so be it. They are probably more right than the producers and company could ever be.

This is not to say we should pander to the masses or sacrifice our integrity, only that those putting on a show are far too close to it to understand what works in a live setting. Only someone who comes in fresh can make that judgement. As a director, I have often fought for what I believed would work, but I never really knew until an audience proved or disporoved my theories.

For whatever reasons, "The Mousetrap" has become an institution, at least in our century. So be it. At least all the thousands who see it every year are driving to a theatre instead of sitting at home.


Rich Weill - 11:55pm Nov 14, 1997 PST(#3 of 33)

On July 29, 1997, Juanita Violini posted (in the general Agatha Christie discussion):

Have you heard that there is a "mistake" in The Mousetrap?

I had heard this claim in an interview with Mousetrap producer Peter Saunders included in a PBS documentary shown for Christie's 100th birthday. I was particularly intrigued that Saunders reported Christie's comment -- when, after 10 years, someone mentioned it to her -- that she knew of the "mistake" and that it couldn't have been avoided.

My guess: It involves the age of Mollie Ralston (the guest house proprietess). She's too young to have been the killer's teacher (given the killer's identity); but, had Christie made her a more credible age for this purpose, her character and the storyline involving her and her husband would have been altered considerably.

Does anyone else have any ideas?


mike morgan - 12:55pm Nov 17, 1997 PST(#4 of 33)

I'll have to re-read "The Mousetrap," but I do remember being struck by the age question when I first read the play. Mollie did seem too young.


Jacques LeMans - 04:59pm Nov 19, 1997 PST(#5 of 33)

Is "The Mousetrap" running in theaters these days? I'd like to see it-- I guess I should just check local listings?


Rich Weill - 08:26pm Nov 19, 1997 PST(#6 of 33)

Jacques,

Try the St. Martin's Theatre in London's West End. Otherwise, look for summer or regional productions.


Juanita Rose Violini - 07:08pm Nov 29, 1997 PST(#7 of 33)
www.incrediblealmanac.com

Is anyone else out there doing mystery 'theatre' as interactive entertainment? not exactly the same as stage mysterys but not so different either. directing is sometimes a challenge and you have to be able to trust the actors because they are dealing with a live interactive audience.


barbara wale - 04:22am Dec 25, 1997 PST(#8 of 33)

Hi Jacques

I don't know where you live, but if you are close to Toronto, Ontario, the Toronto Truck Threatre celebrates it's 20 year run of the play in 1998. If you can make it, Toronto is a great city and just think how far your dollar will go now that we've dropped to a new low of 69 cents vs $1.00 US. Unless you enjoy winter plan for May to October.


Simon - 02:46pm Jan 26, 1998 PST(#9 of 33)
It ain't easy being green

I have read the short story version of moustrap, but not the play... I, too, remember that I was a little confused by the age problem, but I just wrote it off as the fact that the murder was younger than he appeared, (due to makeup) and that Mollie took a husband younger than herself. I don't think there necessarily has to be that much of an age difference between teachers and students. In high school I had a teacher fresh from college who was only six years older than I. There could certainly be a six-year difference between Mollie and the murderer, maybe more.

Re the interactive dramas: There was a production done near here not too long ago called The Night of January 16th or something to that effect. I wanted to go, but had other conflicts, but a friend of mine did, and said it was quite fun to see. Anyway, ticket stubs are randomly drawn before the play, and twelve members of the audience are chosen to be jury members. They got to sit up on stage, watch the actors portray courtrooms proceedings, and then during intermission they were given twenty minutes or so to come up with a verdict. The cast had two endings, depending on the verdict they gave. I thought that was quite an interesting idea...


Jared Hinson - 06:06pm Mar 30, 1998 PST(#10 of 33)
Guest User

To anyone who has not read or seen Ten Little Indians, let me recommend it. I have just finished playing Anthony Marston in my local theatre. This really is a fantastic play.


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