A SENSATIONAL murder trial will be heard in Bolton Town Hall this Sunday.

Leonard Vole stands accused of murdering wealthy older woman Emily French in order to inherit her fortune.

Intriguingly, Mr Vole’s wife, Romaine, will testify against her husband.

However, anyone surprised that the Bolton News failed to cover the shocking discovery of Mrs French’s body when it happened should relax - there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.

The trial is the basis of the Agatha Christie play A Witness For the Prosecution, which the Mawdsley Players will perform in aid of the Mayor of Bolton’s charities.

The unique venue is Bolton Town Hall’s Council Chamber which will play the role of the courtroom for one night only.

“I believe it’s the first time that it’s been used for a play,” said Andrzej Więckowski , Bolton Council spokesman.

The chamber was used as courtroom from 1873 to1937 when the town hall was built, before being used for council meetings.

Its a classic setting for the classic play, which Christie adapted for the stage from her 1925 short story Traitor’s Hands.

In 1957 it was made into a film starring Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich

In traditional theatres, the upper level of seating is referred to as ‘the gods’ but in this case the former public gallery will serve that purpose.

“I would be delighted if you could support me with this exciting fundraising event in aid of my charities,” said Cllr Hilary Fairclough.

Her chosen charities are Bolton Hospice, Fortalice, Bolton Dementia Support, Asian Elders, Bibbys Farm (Bolton Scout Trust), and the Renal Unit based at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The performance begins at 7.30pm on Sunday, June 16, and the £10 tickets include a complimentary interval drink.

For tickets and further details please contact the mayor’s office on 01204 331090