Theatreland Tour with Ian McKellen
Agatha Christie Memorial & Arts Theatre
Can you see the bronze sculpture in the middle of the pavement ahead of you?
See it? Stop there and take a good look at it.
This is a memorial to the great crime writer Dame Agatha Christie.
There’s a mousetrap hidden on it somewhere. Can you spot it? No? Oh dear, it’s at the top.
There you go.
It’s a reference to Agatha Christie’s most successful play – The Mousetrap.
She wrote it over sixty ago and it’s been running ever since. The longest running play in the history of world theatre.
Later on, I’ll take you to the very theatre where the mousetrap is still performing.
But first, look across the street. Look over what would be Agatha Christie’s left shoulder – if she had any shoulders in the statue.
Right, now do you see the red telephone box? Yes got it!
Just beyond the telephone box, do you see a large black and white sign?
It says Arts. And what it means is that that is where the Arts Theatre stands – or perhaps hides. Because the auditorium of the theatre is underground. That’s true of many theatre’s in the West End.
I’m very fond of the Arts Theatre because it’s where I made my first West End appearance as an actor. I was a student at the time and I didn’t think I was going to become a professional actor.
My ambitions were more to be a cook, a chef, a journalist.
Now, Are you still facing the Arts across the road?
Good. Pay attention for a moment.
Slightly to your right, there’s a crossing.
Cross over the road. And when you reach the other side, keep straight on.
I want you to go up Upper St. Martin’s Lane. You should be able to see that on a signpost.
Cross over and head up there. Go up this road and stay on the left hand side.