Little Theatre Company

Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent

Witness for the Prosecution

by Agatha Christie

Performed: March 2011

Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie

Review by Dave Stacey


A THRILLING courtroom drama with a series of unexpected twists is playing at Burton Brewhouse arts centre this week.

Witness for the Prosecution is a gem of a tale by the queen of suspense, Agatha Christie, presented by a talented cast from Burton's Little Theatre Company.

Some people will remember the story from the Charles Laughton film but patrons are urged not to spoil it for those who don't by revealing the ending to them.

The action takes place in the chambers of a defence barrister, convincingly portrayed by Peter Clemson, and in the Old Bailey in the days when a conviction for murder meant death by hanging.
In an exacting role Clemson was magnificent, whether seen in private consultation or as dramatic courtroom orator. This was, above all, his show - but there were also fine performances by the rest of the cast. Daniel Tunks as the murder suspect was tellingly naive, nervous and excited as the story unfolded.

Peter Banton caught the spirit of a non-too-bright detective inspector. Vanessa Birch was splendid as the enigmatic woman on whose evidence the suspect's life depended, the role calling for constant changes in character.

As usual the play was brilliantly directed by John Bowness. It continues until Saturday evening, with a Saturday afternoon matinee.

After several recent comedies and musical shows it was good to see that the LTC has not lost the ability to pull out all the stops in the presentation of a straight play, a fitting choice for the annual production in memory of the late Barbara Hicken.

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