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Witness For The Prosecution

Date

1st November 2013

Society

Marlborough Dramatic Club

Venue

Brentwood School

Type of Production

Play

Director

Patricia Staley and Keith Morgan

Report

Author: Tessa Davies

It is such a pleasure to see Marlborough’s productions, we can be sure that the performance will be well produced, well designed and of a very high standard.

This play was no exception, I constantly marvel at the attention to detail in Marlborough’s plays.  In this case, the simply designed set with the barrister’s chamber set in front of the tabs with a simple door flat was perfect, even down to the old fashioned brass light switch.  The scene change seemed a bit cumbersome but I really cannot see how they could have done it differently.  Once the tabs were pulled back, we could see the courtroom in all its glory.

All the principal characters were portrayed with a good insight, and all gave excellent performances.  This was a large cast by this company’s normal standards and it was very nice to see new actors getting the chance to work alongside the more experienced performers.

There were some excellent vignettes going on in the courtroom, the actors had, clearly, given a lot of thought about how such characters might behave in a courtroom and all the cast had their characterisations firmly in their minds during the whole play.

William Wells played the solicitor John Mayhew with a light touch, giving us an insight into the difficulties a solicitor might have with a client.  Martin Reynolds (Leonard Vole) was perfect as the bewildered suspect, his hesitation and disbelief were very well displayed.  Guy Harding does make an excellent barrister and his portrayal of Sir Wilfrid Robarts, QC was spot on, with just the right amount of cynicism.  Mark Godfrey (Mr Myers QC) was very good in a role that required some tricky expressions and insinuations.

I must compliment Lindsey Crutchett, in particular; her portrayal of Romaine Vole was a master class.  Her accent and demeanour did not falter once and, when we saw her in her alter ego, it was a bit of a shock and certainly made me think again about who I thought was the real culprit.  I have had the pleasure of seeing Lindsey perform a number of times to great effect, but this time was exceptional.

Which brings me to the denouement; I never do get it right and usually change my mind several times during the performance, much to my companion’s amusement.  The script is, of course, beautifully written and co-directors Patricia Staley and Keith Morgan milked it for every nuance.  The final moments of a crime drama, such as this, are key to its success and the company did not disappoint.

Another excellent production, performed by a company that has a first class reputation. Very well done and thank you for a most enjoyable evening.