By Sandy Grossman & Sandra Moore
Photo by Matthew Scholtz
Students walking through campus can see handmade signs advertising this year’s fall play. One in particular, near the Little Theater, publicizes the main draw of the play: a “Dead Old Lady.” Though the aforementioned dead old lady does not appear in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, the production still brought mystery, suspense, and most importantly, murder to the Little Theater in its two-week run.
The thrilling courtroom drama centers around Sir Wilfrid Roberts, played by junior Charlotte Emerson. Roberts, an experienced lawyer, agrees to represent a poor young man named Leonard Vole, played by senior Abraham Szlagyi, after he is accused of the murder of wealthy widow Mrs. Emily French.
Witness succeeds through its acting, which is crucial with only two sets and a minimal cast. Emerson is appropriately cunning in her portrayal of Wilfrid Roberts, and junior Lucy Loken captivates the audience as the calculating Mrs. Romaine Vole, out to imprison her guileless husband. The solid performances further enrapture the audience in the plot, which is the epitome of Agatha Christie, thanks to characters who always do the unexpected.
“It was a lot of fun. It’s very thrilling. I think it’s great that Mr Enright does a variety of plays: he doesn’t just do comedies; he doesn’t just do dramas,” Emerson said. “It’s cool that he mixed it up this year. I like my role [as Sir Wilfred Roberts]. I thought it was a lot of fun. I got to drink and smoke on stage, I just wish I had gotten to kill someone or something like that.”
The play’s third act brought surprising plot twists and revelations that put some audience members on the edge of their seats, and left others scratching their heads, claiming the exhilarating finale came out of nowhere.
“It was an emotional roller coaster that I found enjoyable and engaging,” junior Owen Keith said. “Even though I knew there would be a twist at the end of the play, it kept me guessing until the last scene.”