Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall
Witness for the Prosecution is the Agatha Christie play that tells of Leonard Vole who is accused of murder, a capital charge. The victim s an older wealthy woman he has befriended, the housekeeper heard his voice moments before her Mistresses death and he is set to inherit her fortune. His only alibi is his wife, Romaine Vole who his solicitor and barrister can’t work out if she wants to help or hinder his case. The majority of the play is set in the court room but there are moments that the audience are privy to such as the conversation prior to Vole’s arrest as well as the drama between days of the trial which helps give them the insight into Vole’s plea.
Unsurprisingly with the play being by Christie the book is utterly gripping. In the interval all of the conversations were about if Vole was guilty or not and it kept me guessing right up until the very closing moments of the show.
The setting of London County Hall is perfect for this production. The large chamber becomes London Central Criminal Court and the audience are immerse into the production, seated next to Counsel or solicitors and for a special 12 even becoming the jury who are sworn in just prior to the play commencing. When the courtroom scenes are being played out it is presented as very realistic, with Court clerks, stenographers being present which helps immerse the audience even further.
Harry Giubileo plays Leonard Vole and he easily convinces as a charming but penniless man, you quickly believe that he would help someone across the street and his easy charm reassures as much as it causes motives to be questioned. His wife is played by Madeleine Walker who perfectly captures the intriguing Romaine Vole, it being clear that someone is being manipulated but leaving us guessing for as long as possible just who that is. Our Prosecution and Defence Counsel are played by Nick Sampson and Jo Stone-Fewings who capture the back and forth between the lawyers brilliantly, a competition between them more than a quest for the truth.
The technical side of the show is wonderful and it enhances the location perfectly. The sound design by Mic Pool ensures that the audience feel that they are in a huge court with calls for witnesses seemingly echoing down the hall and gasps and mutters from the courtroom fill vital moments, The lighting design by Chris Davey is well thought out. He ensures that the attention is focused on the main playing area but equally does not dim the lights so far around the rest of the hall so the sense of the audience being in the pubic gallery is very much present.
This production of Witness For The Prosecution is exactly what you want in a courtroom drama; gripping, well acted and set beautifully within a perfect venue for this show.
Witness for the Prosecution is currently booking through to April 2024. For more information and to book tickets visit their website here.