• Short Summary

    Agatha Christie's famous play The Mousetrap is about to achieve yet another record. In London?

  • Description

    GV EXTERIOR: St. Martin's Theatre. (2 shots)

    SV: director of Mousetrap play speaking to reporter.

    CU: stills of previous casts from play (4 shots)

    SV: leading lady of current production speaking to reporter.

    GV EXTERIOR: theatre with people entering. (5 shots)

    TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER (TRANSCRIPT): "There's a twist at the end of this thriller and four million people have seen it and since four million people have seen it the secret has been pretty well kept."

    SAUNDERS (TRANSCRIPT): "I think it has. The leading man always comes out every night and makes a speech asking people not to give it away. It would spoil it if everybody knew, but there are a lot of people who come back with friends who don't know to see their reactions to see if they guess and when."

    REPORTER (TRANSCRIPT): "Mr. Saunders the question everybody's used to asking is whodunit, but perhaps at this time we ought to ask when will it all end?"

    SAUNDERS (TRANSCRIPT): "Well when it had run five years, I rashly forecast that I thought it might run ten. After that I gave up forecasting. Now with 10,000 performances and playing to packed houses, I really don't forecast anymore because its become like a gigantic snowball rolling down a hill and getting bigger all the time."

    REPORTER (TRANSCRIPT): "Helen you've been in this show a fortnight now and you're the 23rd leading lady in the Mousetrap, how does it feel?"

    HELEN (TRANSCRIPT): "Well I feel greatly privileged it's enormous fun to play every night. The thing about it is that you don't feel at all that there have been 23 other leading ladies because it's so fresh."

    REPORTER (TRANSCRIPT): "Now let's see, this show opened in 1952 Helen, what were you doing then?"

    HELEN (TRANSCRIPT): "I was in infants' school."

    REPORTER (TRANSCRIPT): "Well, of course, that's 25 years ago."

    Initials RH/GB/DK/1555

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Agatha Christie's famous play The Mousetrap is about to achieve yet another record. In London on Friday (17 December) the play will be performed for the 10,000th time.

    SYNOPSIS: Like Buckingham Palace and The Tower, The Mousetrap has become a London landmark. The "homely little thriller" has broken all world box office records. What's the secret of its success. Producer Peter Saudners spoke to Visnews reporter Peter Whittle.

    The Mousetrap has played and played. Agatha Christie is now dead. Nearly 140 actors and actresses have appeared in the play since it opened with Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim in the leads. Leading lady number 23, Helen Weir, also spoke to Peter Whittle.

    Helen Weir was still at school, Winston Churchill was Britain's Prime Minister and Stalin led the Soviet Union when it all began.

    Now, 25 years and 10,000 performances later, The Mousetrap is still selling tickets. Four million people have seen it -- and who's to say that another four million won't see it over the next 25 years?

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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