Agatha Christie’s gripping murder mystery play comes to County Hall on London’s South Bank

Catherine Steadman as Romaine and Jack McMullen as Leonard
Catherine Steadman as Romaine and Jack McMullen as Leonard. Credit: Idil Sukan/Draw HQ

Witness to the Prosecution is the first major production of an Agatha Christie play to be staged in London since the Sixties

A new production of an Agatha Christie play has opened at the County Hall in London. It is the first major production of a Christie play in the capital to open since the Sixties.

Witness for the Prosecution will run in the chamber of County Hall, a former local government building, on the South Bank. The venue provides a courtroom setting for the murder mystery about betrayal and justice.

The courtroom setting in the chamber of County Hall
The courtroom setting in the chamber of County Hall. Credit: Helen Maybanks

The play, which Christie said was ‘one of my plays that I like best myself’, follows Leonard Vole as he is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. His wife, Romaine, testifies – not in Leonard’s defence, but as a witness for the prosecution. The story is set at a time when murderers were sentenced to death. After the trial, they would be hanged in the basement of the Old Bailey.

Jack McMullen, whose work includes TV drama Waterloo Road, plays Leonard. Catherine Steadman, best known for her role as Mabel Fox in Downton Abbey and nominated for an Olivier Award in Oppenheimer, plays his wife, Romaine. David Yelland (The Crown, Foyle’s War) plays Sir Wilfrid Robarts. Witness for the Prosecution is directed by Lucy Bailey.

Christie initially wrote The Witness for the Prosecution as a short story, published as Traitor Hands in Flynn’s Weekly, in 1925. When she rewrote the story as a play, she added Leonard’s mistress.

Witness for the Prosecution runs at County Hall, London until March 11

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