London Theatre Review: Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall
Posted on 28 May 2019
Just a quick hop over the river from the West End, in the shadow of the London Eye, you will find London County Hall where Witness for the Prosecution is currently staged. The former home of London County Council, the building now hosts the Aquarium, London Dungeons and a couple of hotels. Nestled in the heart of the building is the former meeting room – the Edwardian chamber – with its fixed wooden seating, striking marble columns, high ceiling, and ornate fittings, now providing the setting for one of the world’s most famous author's plays.
Agatha Christie was a prolific writer, only outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible. Her most famous play, The Mousetrap, is still running in London 67 years after it first opened and now holds the record for the longest running play in the world. Witness for the Prosecution, a modest success by comparison, utilises the atmospheric Chamber in County Hall, providing the perfect location for this murder mystery.
A classic whodunnit, the plot is typical of Christie. We meet all the characters connected with the case and learn their motives and thoughts while we try to solve the case alongside the police. The interval is a buzz of inquisition, trying to pool facts and observations from the first half to take a guess and who the murderer is and why.
When the revelation comes, it's not disappointing. The clever twists and turns layered within the story keep the audience on their toes throughout. Even when you think you've got it all wrapped up, Christie throws another twist at you just for good measure. It's a masterpiece of the genre.
To aid the judge in the court case, some members of the audience form the jury act out the role as though they were part of the story. They rise when prompted by the clerk of the court for the entrance of the judge and the foreman delivers their verdict when the time is right.
Director Lucy Bailey has made excellent use of the space, working with both the building and the script to create a truly engaging piece of theatre.
Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution tickets on sale now beginning at £12
Witness for the Prosecution is now booking at London County Hall until 29 March 2020. Book your tickets for this Agatha Christie courtroom drama early to secure the best seats and prices!