Witness for the Prosecution

Bolton Little Theatre

Runs until Saturday

BASED on a short story first published in 1925, Agatha Christie’s stage version of Witness For The Prosecution first appeared in 1953, and tells the story of a charming young drifter called Leonard Vole, who is on trial for the murder of a wealthy elderly lady he has befriended, and who has just altered her will in his favour.

The play itself is a great suspenseful vintage thriller, full of the twists and turns that Agatha Christie does so well. James Haslam as Leonard Vole was well cast as the likeable young man, perhaps not fully aware of the gravity of his situation.

Peter Schofield as Sir Wilfred Robarts, QC was every inch the charismatic Senior Advocate - confident, clever and with a hint of the maverick flair. Another strong performance from Schofield.

Mike Jeffries as the solicitor Mayhew was very good and made a solid foil to Sir Wilfred. A good performance from Glenn Robinson as prosecutor Myers, depicting the pretentious theatrics commonly associated with the courtroom.

Natalie Crompton gave a great performance as Romaine, Vole’s wife, and held the attention of the audience wholly each time she took to the stage.

The supporting cast were good too, especially Kim Armston as the gossip-loving secretary Greta and Frances Clemmitt as the devoted, suspicious housekeeper Janet McKenzie - both introduced some lovely touches to their character’s brief appearances.

The scenes flipped between Sir Wilfred’s chambers and the courtroom, and the set very cleverly encompassed both locations with the minimum of disruption during the slick scene changes. Great work from Jeff Lunt and the team.

The full house clearly enjoyed it, especially as the first half is rather long, with lots of “oohs and ahhs” along the way.

Jason Crompton