Theatre review: Witness for the Prosecution

Witness For The Prosecution
Witness For The Prosecution
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Leeds Civic Hall **

Witness for the Prosecution was originally a short story and maybe it should have stayed that way.

Instead Christie turned it into a rather fusty and static court room drama that lacks pace with overly long pieces of dialogue.

Theatre Mill and RJS Productions have tried to put a new spin on the work presenting it in the round, in the council chamber, but despite their valiant efforts have failed to revitalize this tired plot.

Playing in the round is not easy and during the first ten minutes much of the dialogue was lost by weak projection, which happened intermittently throughout the performance.

Gordon Kane, as Sir Wilfrid Robarts was outstanding and convincing with cross examinations that would do any QC proud; whilst Niall Costigan, as the accused Leonard Vole, gets the balance of sympathy, love and eventually hate of his character exactly right.

One thing Theatre Mill should do is seriously look at rescheduling the interval to stop the audience becoming restless and losing concentration. Over two hours is a long time to sit on hard wooden seats before an interval break only 35 minutes before the end of the performance.

• Runs until August 30.