Here’s how much the stage version of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” is loved:

The Agatha Christie play opened in London in 1952. And it hasn’t stopped yet. That makes it the longest running play ever.

It isn’t likely that it will play that long at Pima Community College, where it opens tonight. But see it and you’ll save yourself a trip to London.

Here are a few facts about the whodunit:

It had humble beginnings: It started out as a short story, and then became a radio play before it hit the stage. Christie, who gave the rights to her grandson as a birthday gift, didn’t have much faith it would play beyond eight months.

The name of the play owes a thanks to Shakespeare: Originally called “Three Blind Mice,” Christie had to change the name because there was another London play with that name. Her son-in-law suggested “The Mousetrap,” which had been the name of a play within the play “Hamlet.”

It’ll keep you guessing: Christie was a master at twist and turns. She threw out red herrings as though she were attempting to stock the River Thames. The ending is such a surprise that London audiences have long been sworn to secrecy before they leave the theater.

It’s a classic Christie story: Seven strangers are stuck in an English country inn courtesy of a howling snowstorm. When one of them turns up dead, the rest become suspects. A policeman somehow weathers the snowstorm and turns up to solve the mystery. That’s not as easy as it should be with so few suspects.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at or 573-4128.