Agatha Christie’s Witness For The Prosecution recently had its 5 Year anniversary performance and it’s clear to see why it has been so successful.
This play tells the story of Leanord Vole and his court trial following his arrest for murder.
From beginning to end, the storyline has numerous twists and turns, keeping the audience captivated.
Agatha Christie has somehow perfected the balance of being able to keep everyone on their toes by adding in curveballs but still having her storylines be straightforward to understand and follow.
This play is one of the most universally enjoyable murder mysteries for any age, somehow including drama, romance and just a touch of blood – in no particular order.
Before the show even begins, the immersion into the story starts.
Upon entering the hall, your tickets are scanned, and you head up steps to the courtroom, no matter which way you walk you’re surrounded by legitimate courtroom paraphernalia to help draw you into the atmosphere.
Depending on what time you arrive, you might catch the police patrolling, or even see the barristers and judge making their way into the docks.
The theatre itself is still laid out exactly like a court, where you could be in the main seating, the public gallery, or even be part of the Jury.
Every single cast member of this production is instrumental in the storytelling, whether its the principal cast delivering the script, or the ensemble helping literally set the stage, they are all astronomically important.
Due to the stage being in the centre of the courtroom, there is no way for set pieces to be taken in and out subtly, so this production plays it smart and makes all of the changes visible and entertaining to watch instead of clunky and awkward. Just beware, if you’re in an aisle seat – watch your head!
Harry Reid as Leonard Vole and Naomi Sheldon as Romaine Vole perfectly complement each other’s acting style and play an extremely convincing couple, whether they’re in love at that moment or feuding, it is all flawless.
Huge props have to be given specifically to Harry though, as he portrays Leonard’s relatable life story, from being hard off, to being naive and caught in a series of bad situations.
Other standouts have to be Dugald Bruce-Lockhart and Justin Avoth as Sir Wilfred Robarts Q.C and Mr. Myers Q.C respectively. These two bickering boys are rivals at work and their cutthroat defence vs. prosecution arguments are utterly entrancing to watch.
It is utterly entrancing to watch grown men argue childishly with each other before getting cut short when the judge steps in.
Nicholas Day as Mr. Justice Wainwright is perfect casting.
He adds just the right amount of comedic relief to the show whilst still being a man of few words – it is more his facial expressions and tone of voice that really solidify the ‘disgruntled caretaker’ role that he seems to have over Robarts and Myers.
From gossiping housekeepers to suave young men and from innocent tea ladies to elderly women with eight cats – this show has it all.
It might sound like a lot, but Agatha Christie is known for being a great writer for a reason.
A specific highlight of the show is the moments where witnesses are called from the outside of the court and brought past the audience to the docks.
This play really does happen around you, and above you at times.
This play is criminally captivating and is well worth a visit, or two.
But remember, keep the secrets!
Currently booking until April 2023, https://witnesscountyhall.com/tickets/ticket-information
Reviewer: Ely King
Reviewed: 12th October 200
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★