The exterior of London County Hall

Witness for the Prosecution at London’s County Hall transcends expectations

Witness for the Prosecution is a theatrical masterpiece, transcending both time and expectations.

With its roots tracing back to 1953, the electrifying play invites you into the chambers of London’s County Hall, immersing you in a mesmerising experience that blurs the line between fiction and reality.

Agatha Christie’s short story has been imaginatively staged by Lucy Bailey in the heart of the South Bank.

The setting couldn’t be more fitting, as the County Hall once hosted the debates that shaped Greater London Council policy, and now serves as the backdrop for the life-changing trial of Leonard Vole, accused of the heinous crime of murdering a widow for her wealth.

Then as you walk in and take a seat, you realise that you are summoned for jury service.

Being called for jury service as an audience member not only deepens the immersion, but adds an interactive dimension that keeps everyone on the edge of their seat throughout the performance.

Bailey’s layout for the play is remarkable, with the stage in the centre, placing the audience on either side and the judge seated at the front of the set, mimicking a real court trial. 

With the actor’s costumes then transporting you to the mid-20th century, you feel as if you are a part of the play.

Vole, played by Harry Giubileo, compelled the audience with his tremendous acting. You experience his desperate struggle to prove his innocence and avoid the hangman’s noose.

His testimony leaves the audience confused, engrossed and guessing until the very end.

The suspenseful atmosphere is complemented by occasional moments of humour and you can feel the weight of responsibility as the audience decide Vole’s fate.

Unfortunately, the ending seemed excessively dramatised, detracting from the authentic and realistic tone that the entire performance had worked so hard to establish.

However, after all, it is a thriller and a certain level of heightened drama is expected.

Witness for the Prosecution at London’s County Hall is a wonderfully executed theatrical experience that revives Agatha Christie’s timeless classic.

Featured image Copyright John Lucas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Related Articles