The Mouse Trap

By: Alena Skodova While in London, Agatha Christie's play 'The Mouse Trap' has been on without interruption for nearly 50 years, in Prague, the Theatre In Dlouha premiered this world famous play last Saturday. Director Jan Borna said his goal was to stage the well-known play in a fresh and innovative way.

The Mouse Trap
'The Mouse Trap' was the theatre's first premiere in the new year, and the Dlouha theatre company were looking forward to it very much. The director Jan Borna told Radio Prague that he wanted to stage this very well-known play in a way which reflected his ideas about conversation-based drama. Mr. Borna said that he admired theatre based on the spoken word, where themes come and go within a conversation.

He confessed that he had never seen a performance of 'The Mouse Trap' but added that this fact made his staging entirely original. I asked Mr. Borna who had come up with the idea to put 'The Mouse Trap' on at the Dlouha theatre? Mr. Borna has been reading Agatha Christie's crime stories since the age of 15, he told me, and it's some 20 years since the first time he came across "The Mouse Trap" as a play, when it was published by a renowned Prague publishing house back in the early 1980s. Mr. Borna said that since that time he's known that the play is a real thriller with a fabulous ending.

The first Czech premiere of 'The Mouse Trap' was back in 1961. It has been staged 22 times in the Czech Republic, and its last premiere was in the year 2000 in Ostrava. It's the fourth staging of the play in Prague. The new staging's strong point is the actors, Mr. Borna told Radio Prague. The new staging of 'The Mouse Trap also uses period music, which has been chosen and arranged by Jan Vondracek, an actor at the theatre and an outstanding musician. He used songs and melodies performed by Marilyn Monroe and Duane Eddie, as well as music by Igor Stravinsky. And as Mr. Borna told me, all performances in January were hopelessly sold out.

The Jiri Svestka Gallery in the centre of Prague is currently presenting an exhibition of a major work by an American artist Siah Armajani. It's one huge glass object and two drawings, but there are many hidden meanings behind Armajani's works. I spoke with the owner of the gallery, Dr. Jiri Svestka and asked him first whether he knew Mr. Armajani personally?