Parental guidance. Babes in arms are not permitted.
Latecomers may not be admitted.
Please note - Gallery Seats are not suitable for those who have difficulties climbing stairs are Vertigo sufferers. Row A has narrow access to seats.
There's nothing quite like the magnificent London County Hall for drama, the ideal venue for an Agatha Christie crime story that has never lost its popularity. Welcome to Christie’s gripping story of justice, betrayal and passion, Witness for the Prosecution, played out in a remarkable courtroom-like setting that adds extra sizzle to this already sizzling sausage of a murder mystery.
The Witness for the Prosecution began life as a short story called Traitor's Hands, published in a cheap weekly story magazine called Flynn's in 1925. 1933 saw the tale published in book form for the first time as Witness for the Prosecution, in a collection called The Hound of Death.
What's the plot? Leonard Vole is arrested for the murder of Emily French, his wealthy older lover. French wasn't aware he was married, and made him her heir. When she dies in suspicious circumstances Vole's wife, Romaine, testifies as a witness for the prosecution, as part of a complex plan to get her husband freed. But circumstances ultimately reveal how Vole did actually kill French. Vole's mistress, who only turns up at the end of the play, is about to be arrested for perjury along with Vole, when Romaine grabs a knife and... well, you'll have to come along and see what happens.
This is a landmark stage production and London County Hall, on the South Bank, is the perfect venue. Designed by architect Ralph Knott, it was under construction for 11 years before being opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1922. It was the HQ of the city's local government for many years, including the infamous GLC, and its unique octagonal chamber and four galleries overlooking it create an incredibly atmospheric setting for the action.
The Daily Mail calls it “Criminally good” and says “The queen of cunning has been brilliantly served”. The Arts Desk calls it a delight, confessing to being guilty of a good night out. We're all set for a show that entertains, amuses and unsettles in the exact way Christie intended.
Who is this show for?
This is a complicated crime drama, with admission restricted to people aged five and older. Children under five won't be admitted.
What to expect:Acting
Recommended for:Anyone (66%)
Two criticisms: i) The "hubbub" sound effects were good, as they ended when the acting began, but other sound effects and music were imposed on top of the acting. The idea was to contribute to the atmosphere, but the result was very distracting. ii) The African actors/extras were out of place, and "took me out" of the scene and period. If the play was about Zulus, it would be a joke to use English or Japanese actors. Using black people to play white people is just as tedious!
Reviewed on 09 August 2019 by John, Ash Vale, United Kingdom
Great venue for a murder mystery that relied on the twists and turns of the legal system for a resolution.
Reviewed on 05 August 2019 by Susan, London, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 30 July 2019 by Ian, Dudley, Australia
Reviewed on 21 July 2019 by Nick, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Hi one suggestion, I had taken pretty expensive seats, that is the forst seat A4, but honestly the view/experience from that seat wasn't good. Please either not assign these seata to anymore or charge way less for them
Reviewed on 12 July 2019 by Prachetas, Pandara Road, India
The action takes place in real court. That is awesome!
Reviewed on 15 June 2019 by Anna, Moscow, Russian Federation
Very well done show. Seating was excellent - most comfortable. A pity they sold food during the intermission as then some people crunched through the second half.
Reviewed on 06 June 2019 by Barbara, Incline Vlg, United States Of America
Reviewed on 05 June 2019 by Maja, Warszawa, Poland
Good plot two unexpected twists enjoyable evening
Reviewed on 03 June 2019 by Marilyn, Tempe, Australia
Excellent acting by the Lawyer for Defence
Reviewed on 26 May 2019 by Connie, Singapore, Singapore
Reviewed on 19 May 2019 by Susan, London, United Kingdom
This was a gripping play. The venue was just right for the story. If you have any mobility issues definitely stick with stalls. The upstairs galleries are steep and narrow to get to.
Reviewed on 18 May 2019 by Yvonne, London, United Kingdom
all was great - just the part of Mrs Vole: she's an outstanding actress, but really really has to work on her German accent: it wasn't German at all - German is my first language & grew up bilingual with English. She sounded eastern europeen e.g. polish or croatian or so. She's such a good actress, if she puts her mind to it she will improve it very quickly
Reviewed on 05 May 2019 by Beatrice, Zürich, Switzerland
Reviewed on 03 May 2019 by Christopher, St. Columb Major, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 12 April 2019 by Yvonne, Grantham, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 04 April 2019 by Christelle, London, United Kingdom
Typically Agatha Christie - so very written. Performance was excellent although hearing the actors was a little difficult at times. Staging was 10 out of 10, the venue added to the staging. Balcony seats were very uncomfortable, a cushion would fix that though. All in all, well worth it.
Reviewed on 29 March 2019 by Angela, Churchill, Australia
Reviewed on 24 March 2019 by Ian, Stoke-on-trent, United Kingdom
When it says the seat had restricted view, it’s true
Reviewed on 02 March 2019 by Liya, Amstelveen, Netherlands
Reviewed on 28 February 2019 by Debbie, Crewe, United Kingdom
Fantastic atmospheric show, feels like it’s completely real. Great historic setting. Not many seats in bar area. Other than that, best show in town
Reviewed on 23 February 2019 by Valerie, Croft, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 21 February 2019 by Gillian, Preston, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 20 February 2019 by Katarina, Fuerth, Germany
Great show....in true Christie fashion, a twist at the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great setting for this play. I was in seat C43 gallery. I couldn't see the witness box. But not a problem as sound was good. My seat was only £14.50. Absolutely no complaints! I lost my scarf.....someone handed it in. So a great day all round 😁
Reviewed on 10 February 2019 by Sandra, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 10 February 2019 by Mike, Sturminster Newton, United Kingdom
It's was an awesome show, great acting, smooth stage management and set changes. Really great.
Reviewed on 01 February 2019 by Gemma, White British, United Kingdom
The setting and set changes were good but the play had to many modern touches which wouldn't be around in the forties or fifties when this play (book) was first written. Also to many comedic moments. After all, it is about a murder.
Reviewed on 14 January 2019 by Denise, Wallington, United Kingdom
I read the book a long time ago, so I had a general knowledge of the plot, but even with that I had a few surprises! The actors were all very good, the stage is strickingly on point, ant to top it all, very comfy! Worth every penny!
Reviewed on 26 December 2018 by Violette, Ganshoren, Belgium
Lovely venue - perfect for courtroom drama and comfy seats (stalls) and airy atmosphere. Excellent acting, engaging plot and brilliant twist at the end. The only slight annoyance was Vole’s wife’s accent which veered from South African to Indian despite her being portrayed as German but a minor point in an otherwise excellent performance by all the actors.
Reviewed on 20 December 2018 by Anne, Oxford, United Kingdom
The acting was excellent. By the interval there were at least 3 ideas forming about what the ending might be so plenty to discuss. Scene changes were excellent too and very quickly done.
Reviewed on 03 December 2018 by Ann, Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
Fantastic script, wonderful acting, amazing location.
Reviewed on 30 November 2018 by Peter, Mold, United Kingdom
Fitting the play into a "real, old" room and having the stage integrated in the audince was an interesting experience. Well done.
Reviewed on 21 November 2018 by Simone, Zurich, Switzerland
Full of Suspense and twists
Reviewed on 12 November 2018 by Howard, Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewed on 08 November 2018 by Cristian, London, United Kingdom
Good, although we had restricted view and there are pillars but we could see most of the show. Given this is a courtroom drama it's more about the dialogue anyway so it didn't spoil it. Some of the speech was very quiet so could do with better audio. However would recommend, was worth the money (cheap seats!).
Reviewed on 07 October 2018 by Christine, Blackburn, United Kingdom
Very good show with a twist at the end. Excellent acting and stage effects. Picked up speed all the way through not a boring moment. Good atmosphere changes in every scene. Altogether a good time had.
Reviewed on 24 August 2018 by Amirthakala, Croydon, United Kingdom
Courtroom drama with a twist.The LCC building is iconic for those of a certain age,seating in gallery was restricted view but did not ruin entertainment,would recommend to all that like a whodunnit.
Reviewed on 10 August 2018 by Peter, Belfast, United Kingdom
It's Agatha Christie at her finest and that says it all. The theatre set-up is very fortunate as the seats are laid out as they would be in a real courtroom. The actors would enter from between the audience's seats and that integrates the spectators into the sow. Nice touch with the jury!
Reviewed on 25 July 2018 by Alina, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Well organised theatre staff, great location and great script and cast. Thank
Reviewed on 22 July 2018 by Jennifer, Rosebud, Australia
The set was excellent and really drew you into the thrilling story. The acting was excellent and the stage management a joy to watch
Reviewed on 22 July 2018 by Philip, Brighton, United Kingdom
Loved the show, loved being able to take drinks from the bar into the theatre, and loved the ability to pre-order drinks for the break. Only one complaint- it was HOT and humid. No ventilation. Loved watching the great performance, but had to wipe sweat out of my eyes a lot.
Reviewed on 21 July 2018 by Gerald, Amarillo, United States
Totally captivated from start to finish in this fine, fine production. I think Agatha Christie herself would have delighted in the setting. Loved being part of the court proceedings which was achieved by actors very skillfully addressing and including the audience from time to time. Am recommending to friends and family as a definite must see!
Reviewed on 19 July 2018 by Karen, Arbroath, United Kingdom
This was a very different production and was set up dramatically from the start. Really, really entertaining. I would definitely recommend
Reviewed on 11 June 2018 by Carol, Romsey, United Kingdom
I like not to think while watching Agatha Christie stories. I just let the pieces of new information flow fluently completing the whole picture of puzzle. This show was exactly like that. Fluent, interesting, no weak places. The story kept my attention 100% from the begining to the end over two hours. The story had twists in it so that I ended up with my mouth open.Watching Agatha Christie stories (played by professionals) can never be a disappointment.
Reviewed on 31 May 2018 by Mario, Jaklovce, Slovak Republic
Reviewed on 18 May 2018 by Chris, Reading, United Kingdom
As a proven theatre goer this was something very different. Acting and storyline were fantastic. Beautiful setting and building. Would recommend to all without hesitation.
Reviewed on 18 May 2018 by Keith, Stevenage, United Kingdom
loved the show. the acting was superb. definitely one to recommend . storyline great
Reviewed on 09 May 2018 by Mark, Coolangatta, Australia
Loved this play! The characters were so believable in looks and demeanour,
Reviewed on 21 April 2018 by Lynne, Brampton, United Kingdom
A great play with very talented cast. Interesting theatre. Had a great evening.
Reviewed on 23 March 2018 by Robin, Incline Village, United States
My experience of the show was ruined by the obstructed view from the gallery.
Reviewed on 03 March 2018 by Duncan, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Reviewed on 15 January 2018 by Gabriel, Earlysville, United States
Excellent play, fantastic setting County Hall was ideal as it had a real courtroom and added to the atmosphere.
Reviewed on 08 January 2018 by Moira, Cork, Ireland
The Actor who played Leonard Vole was a bit weak, and at times inaudible. Christine Vole's acting was a bit over the top. Otherwise a pleasant enough play, good use of the County Hall Chamber as a setting.Not a good idea to sit in the gallery any further back the row B, you're unlikely to see much of the action.
Reviewed on 05 January 2018 by Penelope, Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 04 January 2018 by Anna, Northwood, United Kingdom
A once in a lifetime opportunity to see such a good show in this great setti g
Reviewed on 10 December 2017 by Donagh, Galwaay, Ireland
Reviewed on 03 December 2017 by Syed, Battle, United Kingdom
Perfect setting for this courtroom drama. All actors brilliant with faultless delivery of this tremendous Agatha Christie plot. If you go to this show try to get seats opposite the judge's chair for best view of all the action.
Reviewed on 26 November 2017 by Alban, Alford, United Kingdom
Excellent all round show. Brilliantly performed and setting in court great. Lovely building for the show to take place.
Reviewed on 26 November 2017 by Patricia, St Neots, United Kingdom
by Stuart King | Thursday, May 16 2019, 11:48
As a youngster, I once experienced the sheer delight of catching a rare television screening of Charles Laughton‘s turn as Sir Wilfred Robarts - the wily, over-confident defence barrister - in Billy Wilder’s definitive 1958 film version.Review: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION at County Hall
by Phil Willmott | Thursday, April 11 2019, 12:38
What a brilliant idea director Lucy Bailey and designer William Dudley have had. Simply and cleverly staged in the round this production of Agatha Christie’s vintage courtroom drama makes perfect use of the abandoned council chamber in County Hall.Review: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION at London County Hall