Witness for the Prosecution was one of two Agatha Christie plays we saw in London and was one of the most interesting viewing experiences I have had. We weren’t just audience members, but the jury giving a verdict.
For those who don’t know, Witness for the Prosecution is a crime drama by the queen of crime Agatha Christie. We see Leonard Vole on trial for murder, watching the back and forth of the defense and prosecution both vying for a different end. We hear from witnesses as they share their knowledge, and we see a verdict and solution unfold.
This version of Witness for the Prosecution is being performed in London County Hall, and audience members can be the jury for the case which is what my brother and I did. This gave us the unique ability to actually decide Leonard Vole’s fate, be it guilty or not. Traditionally there is only one verdict, so this different approach was very intriguing. Being the jury came with other perks like a great view and souvenirs, as well as being the most comfortable seat we had at any of our shows.
Witness for the Prosecution is the one show from our trip that I had seen previously. In fact, my brother directed the play just a few months prior and was inspired by the London production. So I wasn’t going in completely blind, but as a member of the jury I decided to focus solely on how this specific trial went. In the end, that led me to choosing the original verdict that Christie gave us, so I don’t know what would have occurred if it went the other way.
One downside of having seen a show previously is that you can’t help but make comparisons. I can confidently say that I enjoyed this production. This one was more lighthearted than I’d expect for a court drama, and in some moments it seemed too strange to be comedic. It is a delicate balance that I think my brother handed wonderfully, and I wanted the London version to do as well. And when the London version did embrace the seriousness, it was jaw dropping.
I would recommend to anyone that they should see it, largely because it is such a unique venue that is perfectly used, but also because the cast does a great job. It is overall a great show, so even if I can nitpick certain things, I’d see it again.
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