You have to be something very special to become the longest running play in the world, and that’s precisely what THE MOUSETRAP is – special and the longest running.

I think what makes the show so great is the original book it came from, by Agatha Christie, is as readable today as it ever was. And let’s be honest, we all love a good whodunnit.

As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse. When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover – to their horror – that a killer is in their midst! One by one, the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts. Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim? Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?

Incidentally, The Mousetrap was also the very first theatrical piece to re-open in the UK at the end of the first lockdown, with all the usual restrictions in place.

You can take a look at the current trailer for the London production HERE.

So, with a 70th anniversary to celebrate, there’s no better way to do it than take the show on the road and visit 70 venues across the UK and Ireland. First stop here in South Wales will be the New Theatre in Cardiff in March, it’ll then return for a visit to the Swansea Grand in September.

The full casting has been announced for this mammoth tour and for fans of Eastenders, you’re in for a real treat. Just a note however, this casting is only through to May, so there may be a change by the time the show gets to Swansea.

Joining the previously announced TODD CARTY (EastEnders, Grange Hill, Dancing on Ice) as Major Metcalf and GWYNETH STRONG (Only Fools and Horses, EastEnders) as Mrs. Boyle will be fellow EastEnders actor JOHN ALTMAN as Mr. Paravicini.

So in one amazing production we have ‘Nasty Nick‘, ‘Mark Fowler‘ and ‘Geraldine Clough‘, all regular Walford favourites from back in the day.

Of course, those of us who spent many a happy lockdown hour reliving the entire boxset of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ will know Gwyneth as Rodney’s wife ‘Cassandra‘ – and for those of us of a certain age and musical persuasion, are a little bit in awe of her Dad Colin who directed The Old Grey Whistle Test with ‘Whispering Bob Harris’ – 128 episodes if you’re counting. There’s also a Welsh family link, but we’ll save that for another day.

The rest of the cast includes – Joelle Dyson (Dreamgirls, Funny Girl) as Mollie Ralston, Laurence Pears (Magic Goes Wrong) as Giles Ralston, Elliot Clay as Christopher Wren (The Mousetrap in London), Essie Barrow (The Mousetrap in London) as Miss Casewell, and Joseph Reed (The Nobodies) as Detective Sgt. Trotter.

The genre-defining murder mystery from Agatha Christie, the world’s best-selling novelist of all time, will open at the Theatre Royal Nottingham, where it held its original world premiere in 1952. The iconic thriller will then visit over 70 venues across the country, including all cities to which it originally played 70 years ago.

We reckon it’s around 10 years since Todd played in a show here. He toured with the hilarious ‘Spamalot’ which got to the Wales Millennium Centre in 2013. Back then he said…..

“I remember my agent telling me as a kid that the secret to this business was stickability. And luckily I’ve managed to stick around.

“It’s funny, I can always tell how old people are from what they call me,” Todd says. “If they’re over 35 they call me Tucker. If they’re under 35 they call me Mark Fowler.

I guess now we can also add his ‘Dancing On Ice’ routine to that list.

John Altman has become a bit of a Pantomime favourite over the years but says his favourite musical role was that of Billy Flynn in Chicago. Now, I may be pushing my memory a little here, but I think it was around 20 years ago when John dropped in to South Wales as the infamous Lawyer.

As for Gwyneth, well, she played here in this very role of Mrs Boyle in the 2019 tour of The Mousetrap, which was directed back then by Gareth Armstrong, former Artistic Director of Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre and founding director of the Made in Wales Stage.

Gwyneth said about her character…..

“I love Mrs Boyle’s anger, she’s very funny and bombastic. I wish I shared her confidence at being that angry but I’m the opposite, I bury any anger and let it out at all the wrong times. I really admire that she’s in the moment, she’s angry and she’s not afraid to let you know it.”

Gwyneth Strong in The Mousetrap 2019 (Photo: Johann Persson)

This 70th anniversary tour of The Mousetrap is directed by IAN TALBOT OBE who was Artistic and Managing Director of The Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park until 2008. Since then he’s turned out some incredible shows including – Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Shirley Valentine and the UK tour of White Christmas. The tour is produced by ADAM SPIEGEL and SIR STEPHEN WALEY-COHEN.

This 70th Anniversary tour marks the first of many ways that The Mousetrap will be celebrating its extraordinary milestone year.

Following its 1952 premiere touring production, The Mousetrap opened in the West End where still to this day, it continues its record-breaking engagement at the St Martin’s Theatre having been performed there over 28,500 times, selling over 10 million tickets.

The show performance number board when it re-opened last year after lockdown

The full tour schedule is below, in case you have the desire to catch it on all 70 venues. THE MOUSETRAP gets to the New Theatre in Cardiff from Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th March. More details and prices can be had HERE.

The tour then gets to the Grand Theatre in Swansea from Monday 25th to Saturday 30th September. Tickets and details can be had HERE.

The full tour schedule is below, all the listing and tickets details can be had on The Mousetrap website HERE.

Opening at Theatre Royal Nottingham on 27 September 2022, the 70th Anniversary tour of The Mousetrap will visit Dublin, Cork, Brighton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Oxford, Bath, Manchester,Norwich, Malvern, Newcastle, Coventry, Southampton, York, Cardiff, Plymouth, Lichfield, Stoke-on-Trent, Woking, Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Inverness, Aberdeen, Blackpool, Hereford, Chelmsford, Dundee, Derby, Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Torquay, Buxton, Swansea, Northampton, Truro, Peterborough, King’s Lynn, Guildford, New Brighton, Bromley, and Hastings, continuing throughout 2023 with further venues into 2024 to be announced in due course.