The Mousetrap, the world's longest running show, has announced plans to begin socially distanced performances on 23 October.
Agatha Christie's whodunnit, which first played in London over 67 years ago, will be presented with no touching and social distancing on stage. The theatre will take additional COVID-19 precuations backstage and in the St Martin's Theatre auditorium, where every other row will be removed to accommodate socially distanced audiences of 200. The measures are in accordance with stage four of the Government's Road Map for the return of live theatre and music.
The socially distanced cast will include Eleanor McLoughlin, Lizzie Muncey, Neil Ditt, Paul Hilliar, Tony Timberlake, Alexander Wolfe, Damien Matthews and Brenda Longman. The production will be directed by Ian Talbot.
The show originally opened in 1952 and the original West End cast included Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim. The play is a classic Christie whodunit, set in a rural guest house where the guests are all snowed in.
Producer Adam Spiegel said: "It feels very symbolic that The Mousetrap will be amongst the first – and potentially the very first – West End show to open its doors again. As well as being the longest running play in the world, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist this country has ever produced. She had already left a legacy for us to take great pride in. Her name being back up in lights in the West End, heralding the beginning of the end of a very dark time in the history of the theatre, means she will rightly remain one of the most celebrated figures in our cultural life."