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Witness for the Prosecution to be staged in a unique court room setting inside County Hall

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A MAJOR new production of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution will be staged on London’s South Bank this October in a unique court room setting inside County Hall.

Directed by Lucy Bailey (Comus, The Graduate, Titus Andronicus), it will run from October 23, 2017 (previews from October 6) to March 11, 2018.

In this gripping tale of justice, passion and betrayal (with the audience thrillingly placed in the thick of the action), Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high. Will Leonard survive the shocking witness testimony? Will he be able to convince the jury of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?

This will be the first major London production of a play written by Agatha Christie to open since the 1960s.

Witness for the Prosecution was one of Agatha Christie’s favourites of all her works. In her autobiography, she said: ‘One night at the theatre stands out in my memory especially; the first night of Witness for the Prosecution. I can safely say that that was the only first night I have enjoyed…. It was one of my plays that I like best myself.’

The new production has been developed with the support and involvement of the Christie family. Christie’s Great Grandson and Executive Chair of Agatha Christie Ltd, James Prichard said:

“It is really exciting to see this innovative approach to one of my great grandmother’s best plays. The amazing setting of County Hall will help raise the production to great heights, and with Lucy Bailey directing it will be a must see theatre event. This show will help demonstrate that Christie’s works are as relevant today as they have ever been, and 21st century London is in for a treat.”

Witness for the Prosecution is part of an exciting new wave of adaptations of Christie’s work on stage and screen that are giving audiences a fresh perspective on her canon. It follows the highly acclaimed BBC One adaptation of the short story which aired last Christmas and starred Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough and Kim Cattrall, as well as the BBC’s And Then There Were None which starred Aidan Turner, Charles Dance and Sam Neill.

The BBC has commissioned seven new adaptations with the first of these, Ordeal By Innocence going into production this summer. In November, 20th Century Fox’s feature film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express will be released, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. The all-star cast also includes Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Olivia Colman, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr, Sergei Polunin and Lucy Boynton.

Produced by Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Rebecca Stafford Productions, Witness for the Prosecution will be designed by William Dudley, with lighting design by Chris Davey and sound design by Mic Pool. Casting has not yet been announced.

Tickets are available from the box office on 0844 815 7141 or online at www.witnesscountyhall.com/.

NB: All tickets during the preview period (October 6 to October 23) will have £10 off. For the main run, there will be 100 tickets available for every performance at £25 or under.

Image: James Prichard, Mathew Prichard and Lucy Bailey at The Chamber in London County Hall. Photo credit: Helen Maybanks.

The Chamber, County Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 7PB