After 27,000 performances, classic stage show The Mouse Trap finally arrives in NZ

The longest-running stage show in the world, The Mouse Trap, has arrived in New Zealand.

The murder mystery, written by famed crime novelist Agatha Christie, has been performed to packed theatres for the past 66 years and counting.

Speaking to 1 NEWS ahead of Thursday night's Auckland show, director Jonathan Tafler said his aim was to keep the mystery alive and keep audiences guessing.

Malcolm Terrey, who plays the role of Major Metcalfe, said it was a universal thing for people to want to know who did it.

"And it's so cleverly crafted, it could be any of us," he joked.

The play is set in a snowed-in lodge, where all the guests are either suspect or victim.

Mark Wynter, who plays Mr Paravicini, described his character as the "mystery man who arrives from nowhere".

"He's the only person who hasn't booked in beforehand to this Monkswell Manor .. and nobody knows anything about him," he said.

Terrey said his character's a "fairly, affable old chap" and a "bit crusty".

He said at the end of every performance, they tell the audience to keep their knowledge of who the killer is to themselves, so that others can enjoy the dramatic twist.

While the plot of this whodunnit remains the same as it's always been, Tafler made a tweak when he took on the job two years ago.

"I've shifted it forward 10 years .. I think that the 50s seem a little bit far away .. so I moved it forward to 62, 63," he said.

Wynter said at that time there were a lot of Italians coming into England, pointing out that his very first girlfriend was in fact Italian.

The Mouse Trap has been performed more than 27,000 times since its first opening night in 1952 but never in New Zealand, until now.

It's in Auckland until next Sunday before heading to Christchurch and then Wellington.

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The Agatha Christie play is the longest-running stage show in the world. Source: 1 NEWS