Witness For The Prosecution - Review

September 28, 2016 | Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Photo: Sean Owen/Reflective Arts

It’s a tricky thing, reviewing an Agatha Christie play. There’s only so much you can say to ensure you avoid “spoilers”.  But what I can tell you, without fear of remotely affecting your enjoyment, is that Maddermarket Theatre’s production of “Witness for the Prosecution” is undoubtedly excellent.

Ostensibly a straight courtroom drama (but with Mrs Christie’s characteristically unpredictable twists and turns, of course), this classic 1953 thriller focusses on the battle for the life of the dopey Leonard Vole (Joey Herzfeld) who has somehow managed to get in quite hot water after the murder of a rich widow he had been seeing regularly after helping her in the street.

With the thorough Mr Myers Q.C. (Neil Auker) as Prosecution, Vole is defended by the thoroughly decent Sir Wilfred Robarts Q.C (Mark Kitto). Everything should be fine… shouldn’t it? All he really needs to get him off the hook is the support of his loving wife Romaine (Kiera Long)… but naturally, that’s where it gets complicated…

Tightly directed with a good mix of melodrama and comedy by Becky Sweet, all four leads are equally superb, with constantly engaging and believable performances all round. In addition, they were ably supported by Joy Davidson as resentful housekeeper Janet Mackenzie and Tim Seeley as reliable judge Mr Justice Wainright.

With an excellent script from a grandmaster in the genre, performed by a strong cast, Witness For The Prosecution kept me gripped and captivated throughout. Definite must-see!

Witness For The Prosecution will be playing at Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich until Saturday 1st October.

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