Iconic whodunit continues to entertain

Hannah Fredericksen and Alex Rathgeber star in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. (Joel Devereux)

Matt Hewson

Geelong will play host to the longest running play in the world when Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap comes to Geelong Arts Centre (GAC) this week.

Barring a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the show has run continuously since its world premiere in 1952 with more than 29,500 to date.

The Australian production of the by turns thrilling and humorous whodunit is returning after a sell-out capital city tour last year, with legendary Australian performers Gerry Connolly (Mr Paravicini) and Geraldine Turner (Mrs Boyle) and Helpmann Award winner Alex Rathgeber (Giles Ralston) reprising their roles from that tour.

Actor Hannah Fredericksen (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Dream Lover), now based in Geelong, has joined the cast this year as Mollie Ralston.

She said she was having “an amazing time” being part of the iconic mystery.

“It’s both an honour and a little bit intimidating, we have the amazing Robyn Nevin directing, and she’s been really incredible at allowing us to find our own versions of these characters,” she said.

“These characters are very well-worn shoes, but there’s something really beautiful in the writing that is so clever. There’s so much on the page for you, you’re really held by what Agatha Christie has given you.

“There’s an amazing thriller aspect to it, it keeps people on the edge of their seat.

“But the thing that really surprised me is that it’s so entertaining, it’s really funny. I don’t think people who come to see a whodunit thriller expect to laugh, and they really laugh.”

The show has a tradition where audiences members are asked not to reveal the twist after the show.

“It’s pretty incredible, the audience is complicit in continuing the mystery of the show,” Fredericksensaid.

“It amazes me that it’s been running for as long as it has and there isn’t really that information out there. It’s sort of a bond between the audience and the show across the world.”

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is at GAC from July 4 to 7.