Not an empty seat in the house for the Opening Night of Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap.

The Mousetrap Theatre Show Review 

By Jake Freeman

One of the most famous murder mystery theatre performances is now playing for a limited time at The Comedy Theatre in Melbourne. Not an empty seat was left on Tuesday evening for the opening night of Agatha Christie’s classic play, The Mousetrap as theatregoers and celebrities including Sammy J and Stefan Dennis took to their seats. Some dressed up for the occasion including one patron who was spotted in early 1900s attire, complete with a monocle, walrus moustache and even a broach originally owned by the Agatha Christie Estate.

Born in Torquay, Devon, England in 1890, Agatha Christie became well known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. The Guinness World Records lists Christie as the best-selling fiction writer and author of all time, her novels having sold more than two billion copies. Only the Bible has sold more copies of books. She remains the most-translated individual author

The Mousetrap
 opened in London’s West End in 1952 and ran continuously until March 2020, when the show had to be temporarily discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic before re-opening in 2021. The Mousetrap not only holds the record for being the longest-running West End show, with nearly 29,000 performances as of this year, but it also has the longest run of any play in the world and has been seen by millions of people since its debut. Numerous TV shows and films created since have been inspired by the play including Knives OutOnly Murders in the Building and Midsomer Murders. The play is also known for its twisted ending – the audience asked not to reveal whodunnit upon leaving the theatre.

The Mousetrap opens on a cold winter night in post-war Britain in the early 1950s at Monkswell Manor, a Berkshire guesthouse run by Mollie (Anna O’Byrne) and Giles Ralston (Alex Rathgeber), a young married couple. While waiting for their guests to arrive, Mollie listens to a radio report about the murder of a woman named Maureen Lyon and that police are looking for a man in a dark overcoat who was noticed near the crime scene.

Eventually, Giles and Mollie Ralston and their guest soon find themselves trapped in the guesthouse by a relentless snowstorm when one of the guests suddenly is killed, and then everyone becomes a suspect. 

This version of The Mousetrap had the audience enthralled, well-written, and well-paced with the right amount of suspense and humour at the right moments. The cast’s brilliant performance includes 50’s costumes, and the authentic set drew them in as each tried to decipher who the killer was. 

Anna O’Byrne as Mollie did a sterling job as a dutiful wife and inexperienced Guesthouse Hostess. Geraldine Turner also gave a strong performance as the grumpy, retired judge Mrs Boyle.

Laurence Boxhall plays the hyperactive and unusual guest Christopher Wren who stole the show, providing plenty of comic relief throughout to the point it may have overshadowed his co-stars. Gerry Connolly was convincing as the shady, mysterious last-minute foreign guest, Mr Paravicini.

Enriching the drama was the attention to detail when recreating the sets and furniture pieces for the play, shifting the scene to Agatha Christie’s vision of post-war Britain. To the audience’s delight, the cast gave an incredible acapella version of the classic nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice” following the curtain call.

Whether you like murder mystery stories such as Agatha Christie or theatre in general, audiences will enjoy The Mousetrap as it enters its seventh decade of performing. 

The Australian stage production of The Mousetrap is produced by John Frost for Crossroads Live and directed by Robyn Nevin. The cast is led by Anna O’Byrne as Mollie Ralston, Alex Rathgeber as Giles Ralston, Tom Conroy as Detective Sergeant Trotter, Geraldine Turner as Mrs Boyle, Gerry Connolly as Mr Paravicini, Charlotte Friels as Miss Casewell, Adam Murphy as Major Metcalf and Laurence Boxhall as Christopher Wren. Elisa Colla and Jack Bannister both serve as standbys. 

The Mousetrap is now playing for a limited season, until and including Sunday 26 March at The Comedy Theatre in Melbourne at 240 Exhibition Street, opposite Her Majesty’s Theatre. It is a short walk from Parliament Train Station. 

The show’s running time is 2 hours and 20 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission. 
The performance contains adult themes and is suitable for mature audiences. To purchase tickets to The Mousetrap in Melbourne and learn more about the show, go to –

Photography by Jim Lee – Cover Stefan Dennis & Gail Easdale