What Do I Read Next?
Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound(1968) is one of several parodies of The Mousetrap. Stoppard employs many of the familiar Christie elements of the mystery play: the setting, the plot, the country house. And like Christie, Stoppard relies up an unexpected plot twist to keep the audience guessing.
The evolution of the mystery play is evident in Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (1970). Shaffer relies on illusion to replace the central themes of victim, murderer, and detective. Rather than simply trying to analyze the clues and solve the puzzle, audiences must first try to determine exactly what has happened. Little is as it appears initially.
Ira Levin's Deathtrap (1978) is another play that relies on illusion to fool an audience that cannot rely upon character, setting, or language to provide the necessary clues to solve the mystery.
Ten Little Niggers (1943) is another Christie play that enjoyed success with its audiences. Christie had so many people dying on stage that she initially had difficulties getting the play produced. When it finally appeared on stage, the play proved to be very popular especially in New York where it had a longer run than in London. The play's distasteful title was later changed to Ten Little Indians.
Christie's The Hollow (1951) deviates from some of her other plays, since the murder occurs later in the play, by which time the audience is absolutely eager to se the victim dispatched. The dialogue is enjoyable and the puzzle lives up to Christie standards of enjoyment.
Witness for the Prosecution (1953) is often cited as Christie's craftiest and most elaborate play. This play is often noted for its courtroom scene, something not often seen in a Christie work. The ending is startling and very much appreciated by the audience.