An Agatha Christie Classic At County Hall

Witness For The Prosecution, ★★★★★

By Paf Mohammed Last edited 11 months ago

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An Agatha Christie Classic At County Hall Witness For The Prosecution, 5
Photo: Sheila Burnett

If anything can snatch back Agatha Christie from the television costume drama, it's this tremendous production of her 1953 Witness For The Prosecution. Directed at a spanking pace by Lucy Bailey, in the atmospheric formality of the old Council Chamber at County Hall. Indeed, the surprise is that this wonderful venue hasn't been commandeered for every courtroom drama from To Kill A Mockingbird to Twelve Angry Men.

Jack McMullen's hapless Leonard Vole befriended an elderly lady he helped pick up some parcels, she turns out to be rich and lonely and her sudden death is pinned on him. Until the alibi from his German wife is tested on the stand, the clash of the legal titans pits Yelland's upper class calm with prosecutor Philip Franks' camp scorn and you really don't know till the final scene which will prevail.

The theatricality of the law meets its perfect match in such an old and famously stagey play, but the focus of the excellent cast led by David Yelland, and the eerie atmospherics in Mic Pool's sound design eclipse anything you'd see on the BBC on a Sunday afternoon.

If you don't know the play, you'll be thrilled. If you do know it, you'll still be impressed — it's that good.

Witness for the Prosecution, County Hall, Southbank, SE1 £10-100, until 11 March 2018 [Monday-Saturday]

Last Updated 02 November 2017