TAKING on a role in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, the world’s longest running stage production, might be daunting for some actors, but for veteran star Louise Jameson it is “a breath of fresh air”.

Starring as the stern, unpleasant Mrs Boyle in the record breaking play’s 60th anniversary tour, Louise said she felt a world away from Leela, companion to Tom Baker in Doctor Who, Susan Young in Bergerac and Rosa Di Marco in Eastenders, the roles that made her a household name.

Speaking to the Gazette, Louise said: “I normally play the motherly, sensitive type of characters, so to go on stage as the glass-half-empty old bag that is Mrs Boyle is quite a departure from my usual roles – a breath of fresh air.

“It means I can have a lot of fun with the character, even if the audience are meant to hate you.”

The murder mystery is not only famous for its longevity, but for the fact it has managed to keep the killer’s identity a secret.

When asked how she handles being quizzed on “whodunit”, Louise said: “My stock reply has been that if I told you, I would have to kill you. It gets a laugh and no one follows it up then so it works.

“Before each performance we give a short talk to remind people to keep it a secret, and it is great that people are so respective of that.”

The production, which originally opened in Nottingham in 1952 with a cast starting the late Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim before, before embarking on its record-breaking run, centres around the aftermath of a murder, with the majority of the cast suspected of the crime.

But while the characters are at odds with one another, Louise said that the cast has been a joy to spend time with off the stage.

“They are all fantastic. We have a great array of characters in the group and have bonded really well through the tour.

“One of the things we have done during our journey together is getting the chance to each organise days out for the team.

“With constantly being on the move, and performing show after show, it can get quite tiring, and

so going out and doing something different really helps to keep everyone jolly.

“One trip that I enjoyed quite recently was the chance to visit the home of Agatha Christie herself.

It was quite the experience to go around the gardens and house and get a feel of what it was like to be her.

The tour has already performed over 170 shows across the country, with Louise continuing as part of the cast until mid-August. But even with so many shows under their belt, Louise said that there is always something that can throw a spanner in the works.

“There was a time when Anna Andresen’s petticoat fell off mid-scene,” she said.

“Normally it would be an absolutely horrifying thing to happen on stage, but amazingly she was able to kick it off out of sight and keep going through the scene.

“I actually think that despite everyone on stage having seen it, no one in the audience had a clue what had happened.”

When asked about the show’s popularity, and how the 60th anniversary tour offers the same as it did on its first time round, Louise said: “I just love this production. It is quintessentially British and Agatha Christie at her best.

“We are really lucky to have such a great cast, lighting and script, and with such a great array of characters, it is a show that everyone can enjoy.

“Even if you have seen it before, it is still worth coming to try and piece together all the clues that you might have missed the first time round.

“It is a cracking show and we are all very proud of it!”

The Mousetrap is on at the Bristol Hippodrome from Tuesday, August 9 to Saturday, August 13.