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Evening News making headlines in Uruguay thanks to Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap

PUBLISHED: 14:12 30 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:12 30 July 2013

Uruguyan theatre group La Galera.

Uruguyan theatre group La Galera.

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The Norwich Evening News is making headlines... in Uruguay.

A facsimile of the paper from the 1940s is to be used as a prop to add authenticity to a play being staged in the South American country’s second largest town.

And the play? Agatha Christie’s record-breaking whodunnit The Mousetrap.

The theatre group, called La Galera and based in Salto, near the border with Argentina, left a message on the Evening News website with their unusual request.

Laura Gambetta asked: “I need a picture of an old issue of your paper for a theatre play.”

The group came across the words “Evening News” in the play, and the first Evening News they contacted was the Norwich Evening News.

Ms Gambetta, who plays Mrs Boyle, a bitter old lady in the murder mystery, said: “I’m from Salto, a town in the north of Uruguay. I’m a member of a theatre group and we contacted your newspaper because we’re about to present The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie, and The Evening News is mentioned.

“We’re about 15 people who perform in Spanish because not all of us speak English. Last year we performed Tartuffe by Moliere.

“We’ve also performed Spanish and Argentinian plays but we formed the group only last year.

“We perform once a week. We all have jobs and get together in our spare time. We’re of different ages (I’m 57 and the youngest actor is 19) and come from different walks of life.

“We usually perform in small places, for about 40 people, and that’s why we try to be as realistic as possible. But this time the opening will take place in a bigger place.

“We’re performing in a bigger place because we’ve been hired by a cultural institution which wants to support local groups.”

The Mousetrap opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. It has the longest initial run of any play in history.

Norwich Evening News librarian Rosemary Dixon chose a copy of the Evening News – then the Eastern Evening News – from Thursday, Feburary 2, 1947, to email to the group. It had stories including a report from Lowestoft that the North Sea icefield approaching the coast was breaking up, and the announcement that “From this afternoon Norwich hairdressers may use electric lights at any time during the day”.

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