A unique ‘courtroom’ staging of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution has officially opened inside the magnificent surroundings of London County Hall on the Southbank this week.
Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth in this gripping story of justice, passion and betrayal. 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?
Most importantly, did the production convince the critics?
We’ve rounded up all the reviews and judgements you’re going to need below…
DAILY MAIL: ★★★★★
Witness For The Prosecution is classic Christie, done here with almost complete authenticity…The audience is drawn into the drama…Great setting, memorable staging, pacy acting. The queen of cunning has been brilliantly served.
THE GUARDIAN: ★★★★
The fact that we are in a debating chamber serves to heighten the play’s theatricality. British actors are also very good at playing lawyers. David Yelland has the right smooth, upper-class assurance as Vole’s defence counsel while Philip Franks exhibits a tetchy disdain as his opponent. Jack McMullen is all butter-wouldn’t-melt charm as Vole and Catherine Steadman is guileful as his Germanic wife.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: ★★★★
Christie retains after all these years a capacity to entertain, amuse and, crucially, unsettle. There’s some splendidly fierce cross-examination along the way from Philip Franks and David Yelland, both seeming to have spent their lives greying in chambers.
TIME OUT: ★★★★
Here, Lucy Bailey’s production has the gift of being in the main chamber of London County Hall. Big, austere and grand, it’s the perfect setting for the legal theatrics of Christie’s forensically precise plotting…Bailey plays up the melodrama beautifully, in some scenes lighting the judge’s bench like something from a horror film, while punctuating mic-drop testimony with a thundering score. She keeps Christie’s script clear and punchy.
THE TIMES: ★★★★
It proves a thoroughly entertaining rejoinder to anyone who thought the stage whodunnit went out with rationing. It’s atmospheric. It’s an event. And it’s played straight and played well by a large cast with nowhere to hide.
Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution runs until 10th March 2018 at London County Hall, with tickets available HERE.
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