What better setting for a classic court-room drama than this chamber at the beautiful, iconic and historic County Hall in London! The audience have the sense that they are in a real law-court as they watch the murder case unfold in Witness for the Prosecution.
The venue is small, accommodating just a couple of hundred theatre-goers, but offering rather remarkable seats. None of the usual itchy moquette but instead plush red leather chairs, with brass and oak fittings and fixtures throughout this former Council Chamber (it was the centre of local government in London for almost all of the twentieth century). Convenient note tables are perfect for one’s beverage of choice from the bar. This auditorium is far from the usual theatre setting and offers a remarkable experience to visitors.
This landmark stage production of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution positions the audience right in the centre of the story of greed, crime and cunning. It keeps one guessing right to the end. Leonard Vole stands accused of murdering an ageing widow in order to inherit her wealth. But the case is full of twists and turns.
Agatha Christie penned many a rollicking good read. This play is taken from a short story, but its stage persona has depth, character, some laughs and plenty of drama, and all set against a backdrop of a death sentence should the accused be found guilty of the crime.
Striking and aptly-chosen setting
Witness for the Prosecution at County Hall was a lovely play to watch, and memorable in its striking and aptly-chosen setting. One doesn’t have to be an Agatha Christie fan to enjoy the evening. The actors are first-rate, and the scene-shifters work together like a perfectly coordinated ballet company. And did I mention those comfy seats…
The new cast for Witness for the Prosecution is led by television actor Harry Reid as Leonard Vole. Reid is best known for his work in BBC1’s EastEnders. Lucy Phelps (Call the Midwife, Anthony and Cleopatra, King Charles III) plays his German-speaking wife in convincing and colourful fashion. Perhaps the strongest part, the accused’s barrister, is played by Richard Clothier (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Graduate). Philip Franks (Art, Noises Off, Darling Buds of May) plays Mr Myers, the prosecutor.
This is an immersive production and the actors move in the aisles, although the audience will remain seated throughout. The play is suitable for young people and, in my opinion, this would be an ideal introduction to adult theatre.
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes.
Playing until 31 March 2019
7.30pm Tuesday – Saturday
2.30pm Thursday and Saturday
County Hall Main Entrance
Nearest Tube stations: Waterloo and Westminster
Nearest Main line station: Waterloo
Book tickets here