Witness for the Prosecution: ReviewWITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. Director: Alan Swerdlow. Cast: Graham Hopkins, Sharon Spiegel-Wagner, Brett Krüger, Mike Huff and Craig Jackson. Theatre on the Bay.


Agatha Christie’s vintage courtroom drama in the experienced hands of director Alan Swerdlow, and enacted with conviction by an astutely-cast ensemble of actors, guarantees beguiling theatre for its audience.

This 2024 production of Witness for the Prosecution is notable for the ingenuity with which it evokes the ambience of a foggy, shaky post-WW2 London in 1950. Meticulous attention to detail in props and sound effects creates a distinctive sense of period; Nadine Minnaar’s set lends itself to sleekly unobtrusive scene- changes as the action switches from the chambers of an esteemed QC to a criminal court in the Old Bailey, presided over by a statue of Justice.

A wily trick is turning the audience into members of the jury as the trial proceeds like a game of chess, defence and prosecution each endeavouring to score points off each other up to the startling dénouement…

Best of all is the collective polish of characterisation, from cameo roles to leads.

Witness for the Prosecution: Review

Royal treatment of a great work

Graham Hopkins is stellar as ever in his portrayal of Sir Wilfred Robarts, QC, pitting his considerable wits as defence counsel against those of Mr Myers QC (Mike Huff), a worthy opponent representing the prosecution.

Sharon Spiegel-Wagner fills her role as the disconcerting Romaine with authority, and mercifully eschews any hint of caricature. Although her German accent is not consistently maintained, her grasp of the icily enigmatic persona never falters.

A welcome newcomer to the professional stage is Brett Krüger, who displays the aplomb of a seasoned actor in the key role of the accused: amiable, deceptively naïve, and totally convincing.

Dianne Simpson’s two very different roles add touches of low-key humour to leaven the tension, and veteran Peter Terry, as the presiding judge, projects a powerful presence without upstaging the main characters – no mean feat.

This is royal treatment of a great work by the Queen of Crime. Dame Agatha would have found little to fault – and the captivated audience likewise.

What: Witness for the Prosecution

Where and when: Theatre on the Bay until 10 August 2024

Tickets: Webtickets