Agatha Christie: How donations from The Mousetrap shaped the arts
By Neil Prior
Seventy years ago this month, a theatrical phenomenon and a nine-year-old boy changed the face of Welsh arts.
On 25 November 1952, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap opened on the West End.
She gifted the rights to the play to her Welsh grandson, Mathew Prichard, as a ninth birthday present.
Investing the tens of millions of pounds it has grossed in the past seven decades of over 28,500 shows, Mr Prichard set up the Colwinston Trust.
The trust has gone on to support some of Wales' most famous venues, including the Wales Millennium Centre, The Welsh National Opera, and Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre.
Set in a bleak guesthouse cut off by a snow storm, The Mousetrap is regarded as one of the finest exponents of the so-called closed room detective genre.
- Queen of crime's private photos on show
- Agatha Christie's grandson honoured
Agatha Christie bet her agent it would last eight months 14 tops.
Yet since 1995, its legacy has supported theatrical enterprises from north to south Wales, with grants ranging from 5,000 to 1m.
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