What unusual magic Agatha Christie used when creating her characters and storylines continues to at the present time. Whilst not but as long-lived as The Mousetrap, the opposite well-known Christie play, Witness for the Prosecution, first hit the stage in 1953 and returns now within the post-covid-restriction period in a most uncommon however totally becoming setting – the London County Hall.
For these not within the know, the London County Hall was the setting for excellent political debates within the Seventies and 80s between notable members of the now-defunct London County Council, reminiscent of Labours Ken Livingstone and his Tory rival, Horace Cutler.
Whilst a lot of the Council advanced has since been bought off and redeveloped, the debating chamber has been mercifully preserved and is now being put to imaginative use because the stage for Agatha Christie’s private favorite. The courtroom drama matches properly into this setting of grandiose leather-based again chairs and upright-backed benches for the viewers to endure or get pleasure from (extra on that in direction of the tip of this evaluate).
There is one thing about Agatha Christie’s writing that has led to her work not but falling out of trend, at the same time as lots of her characters are heading in direction of being 100 years previous. Twisted plots and intriguing characters stay the hallmark of her literary contribution to British crime literature.
This manufacturing by Lucy Bailey combines Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution with the London County Hall’s Council Chamber to create one thing higher than its components. It was unbelievable to sit down and watch the drama unfold amongst all of the darkish wooden and leather-based of this previous debating chamber. The setting turns into a splendidly atmospheric addition to the mounting stress within the plot that unfolds earlier than us.
This cleverly penned play centres on Leonard Vole (Joe McNamara), a younger man accused of the homicide of a rich older woman whom he befriended. The prosecution’s main witness towards Leonard is his enigmatic however seemingly duplicitous younger spouse, Romaine Vole (Emer McDaid). It looks like that is an open and shut case, however being an Agatha Christie story, you realize there might be extra to it than simply that. We can’t say any extra. #Sworntosecrecy.
Emer McDaid portrays the proper femme fatale, delivering a shocking efficiency and proudly owning the room each time she steps in. No pair of eyes dare to maneuver away from her when she delivers her strains – her vitality captivates each member of the viewers holding their full consideration till her scenes finish.
Given the plot twists and turns that can maintain the viewers spellbound, the impact is simply heightened additional by the venue. Taking cost of proceedings is Martin Turner as Mr Justice Wainwright. Miles Richardson performs Mr Myers, QC, the Crown prosecutor. Aiding Leonard Vole in his bid for freedom are Jonathan Firth as Sir Wilfrid Robarts and Teddy Kempner as Mr Mayhew. With such expertise, it feels such as you actually have discovered your self in a courtroom.
Christie’s sharp consideration to element included getting skilled recommendation while writing the story, which is proven within the smaller components that might be current in an precise courtroom, such because the stenographer and different authorized figures.
Our solely phrases of warning, guide a seat within the courtroom stalls if you happen to can. The London County Hall was designed to permit everybody current to have the ability to hear the speaker, however it’s no theatre. Some restricted-view seats within the galleries are precisely as they state and will deliver down your enjoyment of this in any other case distinctive expertise.
Other than that, Witness for the Prosecution is a play you’ll completely get pleasure from from begin to end in a venue that received’t go away you detached. Book your tickets now right here.