The Mousetrap is perhaps Agatha Christie’s most famous offering to London Theatre, but there’s another Agatha Christie across town which is just as gripping. The Witness for the Prosecution is a courtroom drama, following the trial of Leonard Vole who is accused of murdering his rich friend. He looks certain to be hanged – even his wife, Romaine, has become a witness for the prosecution – but then a mysterious woman appears with some potentially life-saving evidence.
One of the best things about this performance is that it is performed in a real-life courtroom. The judge, jury and witnesses all take their rightful places around the court with the audience filling in the gaps. For me, this was my first time stepping into a real courtroom and it really adds to the show’s atmosphere, making the story seem so real. The intensity is ramped up even further by Mic Pool’s sound design – the use of sound effects and music to add tension, even during set transitions, was brilliant and this was further enhanced by some very dramatic lighting.
The cast is led by a series of strong actors. Lewis Cope brought Leonard Vole to life in all his complexities, switching personalities effortlessly. Meanwhile, Caroline Stoltz proved to be just as accomplished an actress as her character Romaine. Setting a play in a courtroom requires a huge cast of actors to play a whole host of courtroom roles, and special mention should be made to some of the non-speaking actors who remained in character throughout the show. In particular, Karlina Grace-Paseda was fantastic as the court stenographer. Whilst she didn’t speak, the way that she reacted to each plot twist through small facial movements brought her character well and truly to life.
This is Agatha Christie at it’s best. The twists and turns will have you hooked from start to finish and the unique setting only adds to the drama. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Review by Emily Diver
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 of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?
The cast includes Carolin Stoltz (Shetland, Emmerdale) playing Romaine Vole, Lewis Cope (Billy Elliot) as the accused Leonard Vole, Simon Dutton (The Saint) in the role of Sir Wilfrid Robarts, Giles Taylor (This House, Wolf Hall/ Bring Up The Bodies) playing Mr Myers QC, Michael Cochrane (The Archers) as Mr Justice Wainwright, Tim Frances (The 39 Steps) as Mr Mayhew, with Max Dinnen, Janet Fullerlove, Karlina Grace-Paseda, Jessica Hole, Francesca Knight, Paul Lancaster, Nicholas Osmond, Joe Shire, Michael Weaver and Karl Wilson.
Director Lucy Bailey (Ghosts, Love From A Stranger) thrillingly places the audience in the thick of the action, with some even watching from the jury box, as this gripping tale of justice, passion and betrayal unfolds around them.
Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Rebecca Stafford Productions present
Witness for the Prosecution
By Agatha Christie
Directed by Lucy Bailey
Designed by William Dudley
Lighting Design by Chris Davey
Sound Design by Mic Pool
Casting by Ellie Collyer-Bristow CDG
London’s County Hall
The Chamber, County Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 7PB