One of the joys of going to the theatre is having your expectations upended and an Agatha Christie adaptation is not necessarily one where you expect that to happen. Of course there will be a twist but we’re getting a little jaded with twists and it’s hard to surprise us anymore. But watching Mario’s face from the other side of a thrust stage as the real killer was revealed and the layers fell off his defence was evidence enough that she can still pack a ‘killer’ punch.
Witness for the Prosecution was a joyful experience for the 12 Year Nines who took the plunge-as Lois remarked ascending the staircase to the chambers where the performance took place at County Hall made you feel like a star arriving at a very posh hotel. The chamber itself reeked of the history of hard drawn battles that characterised the old GLC who used to look after London and pulsated atmosphere. The acting was finely tuned to the period and the many layers of bluff, and the piece de resistance was the opportunity to talk to the actors afterwards in an intimate Q&A and climb aboard the wonderful set and feel what it must feel like to capture and hold an audience in your thrall. The students were an absolute delight-the Stage Manager who facilitated the Q&A was extremely impressed with the incisiveness of their questioning and their response to what they had seen is really what theatre is about – drawing us into different worlds and igniting a visceral desire to understand and connect with that world. And we are very grateful to Elaine from the Mousetrap Charity (with whom we are a Key School) for affording us the opportunity and fashioning such a lovely experience for us.
This is the first of what will be many trips this year for our KS3 Drama students as they begin to build a tool kit of theatre-going experiences- launching, what will be for some of them hopefully, a springboard to a future in the theatre. And we look forward to next year seeing some of those students using their considerable skills to reveal the secrets of The Wardrobe in their Year Nine performance of Sam Holcroft’s time travelling play.
Gerry Canning Head of Drama
County Hall which was once the former home of the Greater London Council now showcases Agatha Christie's ‘Witness Of The Prosecution’. I was one of a group of privileged Drama students to participate in this trip. The play was full of excitement and drama. We were always on the edge of our seats. This experience was educational, enriching and provided us with the understanding of performance on the stage. The play was about an innocent man who had been charged with murder and the fight between the two barristers. Overall, it was an amazing experience which we all enjoyed.