One of the most popular programmes on British television in the last century was Crown Court, which ran on the ITV Network between 1972 and 1984. Over three episodes, a realistic trial was presented in front of a jury selected from members of the public. After hearing the evidence, prosecution and defence counsels gave their closing statements and the judge summed up. Two endings had to be prepared as the jury’s verdict could not be anticipated, and whether you agreed with them or not, you never knew for certain who was right.
The gripping courtroom drama Murder Trial Tonight, presented by Tigerslane Studios and directed by Graham Watts, does everything that Crown Court did and more. On trial is Alex Jones for the murder of his wife, Sarah, and you – the audience – are the jury. Prosecution and defence present their cases and cross-examine all the witnesses (sic) while doing their best to keep on the right side of the judge. You get to cast your vote, along with everyone else, and a member of the audience is pulled out to announce the verdict. And then you find out the truth… and like all of the best courtroom dramas, there is a twist in the tail.
The fast-moving script of Murder Trial Tonight feels incredibly realistic and you are drawn in immediately. Where there is humour it is injected naturally and does not undermine the immersive effect created by the set and above all by the cast, who are superb especially Chay Faraday-Browne, as a work colleague of the defendant, Nicola Andreou as the victim’s best friend, Karren Winchester as Prosecution counsel, Paul Lavers as the non-nonsense judge, Ella Hunter-Clark as the Jones’s neighbour and Michael Duran as the investigating officer who we learn charged the defendant on the 15th of September, a date whose significance will be apparent to fans of detective fiction.
Drawing on a real case Tigerslane Studios have created a compelling variation on verbatim theatre. Murder Trial Tonight II is already in the pipeline, the court may be in session for some time to come …
Review by Louis Mazzini
Book Witness for the Prosecution Tickets
London County Hall, London
Step inside the magnificent surroundings of London County Hall and experience the intensity and drama of Agatha Christie’s gripping story of justice, passion and betrayal in a unique courtroom setting. Majestic foyer and bar areas and a spacious auditorium offer excellent ventilation and space for audiences to relax and enjoy this classic thriller.
Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high – will Leonard survive the shocking witness testimony, will he be able to convince the jury, and you of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?
Murder Trial Tonight by Tigerslane Studio
This murder trial is based on a true story.
Set in a Courtroom, you are walking into this show as a member of the Jury. Like any Jury member, you don’t know much about what you are walking into. All you need to know is that it’s your job to watch the live Murder Trial on the stage and listen to all the evidence presented to you from both sides and then deliberate on what verdict you will deliver, Guilty or Not Guilty?
Courtroom thriller theatre play with huge twists and turns. Murder Trial Tonight, is the live murder trial of Alex Jones who is charged with murdering his wife.
At the end of the trial, once you and your fellow jury members have delivered your verdict the actual horrifying murder is revealed on the big screen. Question is- did the audience deliver the correct verdict?