Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall
Agatha Christie’s marvellous Witness for the Prosecution takes the stand in a unique courtroom setting. This gripping tale, full of passion and betrayal, is a must-watch.
What better place to tell this story than in London County Hall court chamber? This is a stunning venue, providing not just an authentic backdrop to this show but also a unique and privileged one. Plus, large leather seats, ample legroom and a desk are also quite refreshing for London theatre.
A young man by the name of Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a rich widow and it falls upon his lawyer, Sir Wilfrid Robarts, to try to get him off. Difficulties quickly arise when it becomes clear the housekeeper is biased against Vole and his wife seems less than trustworthy too. The tense courtroom thriller/murder mystery is a fast-paced ride of twists and turns.
The breathless suspense is heightened by the magnificent setting of London County Hall. This room exudes judiciary authority, emphasising the betrayal that happens within it and creating a fully immersive experience. Full of character, the venue itself is very much the starring role in this adaptation.
Having said that, every actor plays their part tremendously. David Yelland is a force on stage as Sir Wilfrid Robarts and Catherine Steadman plays the suspicious foreign wife with a deep and engaging passion. And, of course, Jack McMullen is perfect as the naive young Vole.
As to be expected with any Agatha Christie story, the writing is superb, with natural dialogue full of brilliantly sharp wit. But this adaptation should be credited for its ability to condense the author’s words down to roughly two hours and almost entirely one setting. The suspense has been preserved beautifully, building constantly throughout.
Witness for the Prosecution is a gripping mystery thriller from start to finish. But what makes this show truly unmissable is the County Hall setting. This is a rare opportunity to witness something special.
Photos: Sheila Burnett
Witness for the Prosecution is at London County Hall from 6th October 2017 until 11th March 2018. Book your tickets here.