Drawing: Claire Cartwright and Jocasta King in The Mousetrap

Claire Cartwright The Mousetrap

Agatha Christie’s famed  West End murder mystery and the world’s longest running play, THE MOUSETRAP  has eight characters including Mollie Ralston and Miss Casewell. As one of the 2015 cast, Claire Cartwright played Molly, who along with her husband Giles runs the guesthouse, Monkswell Manor. Jocasta King joined this year’s cast as the strange, aloof Miss Casewell with the horrific childhood experiences. Jocasta also played Mollie and Miss Casewell during the 2015 UK tour before settling into St Martin’s Theatre, the productions permanent home.

Jocasta signed her sketch last week at the stagedoor and Claire returned her drawing after I left it with her London agent.

Jocasta King The Mousetrap

Drawing: The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap

It’s the longest running play in the world. Agatha Christie’s classic ‘whodunnit’ THE MOUSETRAP is into it’s 64th year, opening on London’s West End in 1952. It has run continuously since it’s 25 November opening. Starting at The Ambassadors Theatre, it  moved next door to the larger St Martin’s in March 1974, without skipping a performance, which numbered 25,000 on 18 November 2012.

For some of those years I have been meaning to do a sketch to pay homage to it’s endurance and longevity. In fact my rendering urges began as far back as the early 1990’s. The  murder mystery’s cast has changed regularly since the original production, which included Sir Richard Attenborough. It was only a matter of finding out the cast members, which number 8 and do the deed. Over time I have made half-hearted attempts, but last December I was determined to complete the task.

I found out the cast and collected production snaps from various sources, including the theatre stills and drew my MOUSETRAP montage. Playing the parts of Molly and Giles Ralston, Christopher Wren, Mrs Boyle, Major Metcalf, Miss Casewell, Mr Paravicini and Detective Sergeant Trotter were, in no particular order, Claire Cartwright, Eleanor Cox, Henry Devas, Timothy Knightly, Phillip Langthorne. Audrey Palmer, Robert Rees and Ian Targett. I duly drew the aforementioned  and wrote a covering letter, explaining my elongated mission. Just before I was about to complete the sketch I checked to make sure the cast were still appearing. They were not! They finished their run the day before. Curses. The nearly completed sketch is attached below as evidence.

The incoming cast for the 2016 season were already on the boards. Eddie Eyre, Emma Deegan, Rob Heanley, Philip Cox, Eunice Roberts, Jocasta King, Timothy O’Hara and Laurence Kennedy quickly found their characters scribbled in 4B across a clean A4 sheet and delivered to them in a not-so-plain brown envelope. They all signed it. Mission accomplished.

The Mousetrap 2