“IT’S comforting, traditional and very British,” says actor Henry Luxemburg about The Mousetrap, which opens at Salisbury Playhouse on Monday.
“Agatha Christie is so well known, not just in England but everywhere, and people know what to expect.”
But the enduring popularity of the world’s longest running stage production is not just about that, adds Luxemburg, who plays Giles Ralston, owner of the hotel where a group of people get snowed in, with a murderer lurking in the midst.
“I just think it is a good play,” he says.
“It is well put together and it works, which is why audiences enjoy it.”
The Mousetrap opened in London 60 years ago, and has been running ever since.
The first touring production of the record-breaking murder-mystery play opened in September 2012 and is now continuing into 2014.
Luxemburg, who has appeared in Hollyoaks and Hotel Babylon as well as the stage show Cabaret, will be joined in the cast by Michael Fenner (Doctors, Footballers’ Wives) reprising his role as Mr Paravicini from London’s West End alongside Joanna Croll (Sirens, Doctors) as Mollie Ralston, Ellie Jacob (DCI Banks, Misfits) as Miss Casewell and Christopher Gilling (ITV’s Law and Order, BBC1’s Silk) as Major Metcalf.
Mousetrap Productions has licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap worldwide to mark the play’s 60th year.
During this period the world’s longest running show will be seen in every continent, with professional productions scheduled for Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.
And the Salisbury shows are sold-out, with a waiting list for those unable to get tickets.
“That is so great,” says Luxemburg. “I hope we do it justice.
“It isn’t like in the West End, where the play is part of the tourist infrastructure.
“It still has that mystique and history around it, but when you take it on the road it becomes just another show on the road.”
The cast are being kept extremely busy, with extra performances added and the play’s run extended, but Luxemburg is still hoping to get outside and see a bit of the country, and he is eagerly anticipating his first visit to Salisbury.
“I’ve never been to Salisbury and I’m looking forward to it.
“We don’t get to go to many theatres that do their own inhouse productions and the Playhouse has a good reputation.
“The audiences are used to high-end theatre and I hope this meets that criteria.
“It gives kudos to our production that we are playing at Salisbury Playhouse, and it will be a privilege.”
* The Mousetrap runs at Salisbury Playhouse from Monday, January 27 to Saturday, February 1. It is sold out. Contact the box office on 01722 320333 or go to salisbury playhouse.com to go on the waiting list for tickets.