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27 March: Mousetrap’s little known records

Published 23 April 2008

Many people know that at 55 years, The Mousetrap holds the record as the longest running show in theatre history. Less know of the records held by its long-serving cast members.

In 1994, the world’s longest serving understudy, Nancy Seabrooke, retired from her position at The Mousetrap, where she had been understudying the role of Mrs Boyle for a total of 15 years.

Seabrooke, an actress from Middlesex, joined the show in 1979 and, in 6,240 performances of the long-running whodunit, played Mrs Boyle only 72 times. She died in 2003.

Seabrooke is not the only record-breaking actor to appear in Agatha Christie’s most enduring play. Actor David Raven made it into the Guinness Book of Records as “Most Durable Actor” for his 4,575 performances as Major Metcalf.

Spare a thought, though, for the show’s costume department which, during the thriller’s record-breaking run, has ironed over 100 miles of shirts.

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