Emma Clarendon chatted to Joe McNamara and Emer McDaid about bringing back Witness for the Prosecution to London County Hall.
Hi – so for those who haven’t seen it – what can you tell us about Witness for the Prosecution?
Joe: It’s a classic, unapologetic murder mystery. Set in the incredible County Hall, the audience are as much as part of the piece as the actors, as they become the jury… with a man’s life at stake.
Emer: Witness for the Prosecution is in a nutshell about the murder of a woman named Emily French. The person accused is Leonard Vole but the case is cloudy. Did he do it? Or is there more mischief afoot? Twists and turns are promised in this show where audiences are invited to come and judge for themselves whether they think he is guilty or innocent.
How does it feel to be part of this production?
Joe: It feels incredible. We’ve all been waiting a long time to get started, so it does feel very special now we’re all here together.
Emer: It’s a wonderful company of people and to be able to play the role of Romaine is a dream.
Could you tell me more about the character that you play?
Joe: I play Leonard Vole, a man accused of murdering a wealthy woman. But as the play unfolds, we see that all is not as it seems.
Emer: I play the chaotic and hard-to-pin-down Romaine Vole. She is definitely not what people expect, especially in the world of the play and the era where women had expectations placed on them of what they should be. She is a powerhouse of a woman in short.
How does it feel to be part of an Agatha Christie play?
Joe: She’s just a astonishing woman. Lucy Bailey has talked us through some of the incredible history of her life and work, and it’s an honour to try and bring her words to life. Also she was the first woman surfer to surf standing up. That to me feels significant.
Emer: Agatha Christie is one of my favourite writers – mostly due to her ability to write such strong and fierce women. It’s an honour to be able to bring to life this wonderful story.
What are you most looking forward to about bringing this production back to the London County Hall?
Joe: Being in the venue. It’s beautiful! And it really does feel like a courtroom.
Emer: The audience’s reaction and the fabulous venue itself. It is something to behold. I would pay money just to sit in those comfortable seats and take in the chambers.
If people haven’t seen it – why should they come along and see it?
Joe: Because if you don’t come soon I’m gonna spoil the big plot twist at the end…it’s killing me. Help me out.
Emer: They say you should never judge a book by its cover but I welcome all audiences to come and judge everything they see, hear and feel. Expect the unexpected!
By Emma Clarendon
Witness for the Prosecution returns to London County Hall from 14 September https://witnesscountyhall.com/