Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Walnut Street Theatre celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the World’s longest runningpPlay, Agatha Christie’s 'The Mousetrap'

PHILADELPHIA -- Walnut Street Theatre PRESENTS an all-new production of Agatha Christie’s classic thriller "The Mousetrap." This timeless mystery is the world’s longest running play, celebrating its 60th anniversary.  The show opens on Jan. 25 and runs through March 4 on the WST Mainstage.
Written by Agatha Christie, the play is set in England during the winter of 1952. A group of strangers are trapped together at a manor house during a snowstorm. They soon discover one of them is a murderer and suspicion runs wild.
To celebrate its 60th year, Mousetrap Productions has licensed 60 productions of THE MOUSETRAP world-wide, including Walnut Street Theatre.  During 2012 the play will be seen on every continent, with professional productions scheduled for Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.  The show will also tour the UK for the first time ever, while simultaneously continuing performances at St. Martin’s Theatre in London.
"The Mousetrap" was inspired by the real-life case of Dennis O'Neill, a boy who died while in the foster care of a Shropshire farmer and his wife in 1945. It began as a 20 minute radio play called
Three Blind Mice," broadcast on May 30, 1947. The radio play evolved into the stage play.  It premiered in the West End of London in 1952 and has never stopped running. In 1974 the play moved to St. Martin’s Theatre, where it continues to entertain. With more than 24,500 performances, it is the longest continuously running play of all time.  Seeing the production live is the only way audiences can experience the mystery, as no film adaptation can be produced…yet.  In 1956, British producer John Woolf bought the movie rights on the condition that a film version would not be released until 6 months after the play closed.  Woolf passed away in 1999.
The suspicious cast of THE MOUSETRAP includes Walnut favorites Jennie Eisenhower and Dan Hodge as newlyweds and manor owners Mollie and Giles Ralston.  Eisenhower, a newlywed herself, joins the cast after directing the WST for Kids’ production of A Christmas Carol.  Audiences will remember her from Fiddler on the Roof, Fallen Angels and her Barrymore Award-winning performance in Forbidden Broadway.  Hodge was last seen wearing multiple hats in the Walnut’s The 39 Steps.  Paul L. Nolan (Major Metcalf), last seen in White Christmas and Laurent Giroux (Mr. Paravicini), last seen in Aspects of Love, return to the Walnut as possible murders.  New to the Walnut, Eric Bryant (Christopher Wren), Charlotte Northeast (Miss Casewell), Harry Smith (Detective Sergeant Trotter) and Judith Knight Young (Mrs. Boyle) complete the list of suspects.

"The Mousetrap" runs at the Walnut through March 4. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.


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