Tag Archives: Mandi Symonds

Witness for the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution


London County Hall

Witness for the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution

London County Hall

Reviewed – 27th April 2022



“The courtroom setting is of course a highlight”


Witness For the Prosecution has been intriguing and entertaining tourists and Londoners alike since 2017, and I don’t see why it should stop any time soon.

Baby-faced Leonard Vole (Joshua Glenister) is being accused of murder, having been found in the wrong place at the wrong time, but despite his seemingly obvious innocence, the evidence is shaky. Will his open features and simple nature be enough to redeem him?

Agatha Christie does well to create this stuffy, old-boys’ club legal system full of lots of back-slapping middle-aged men. It feels almost timeless in that it could be 1850 just as easily as 1950. But in walks Leonard’s wife Romaine Vole (Lauren O’Neil) dressed all in black, and suddenly we’re in technicolour. The women are the flavour of this otherwise slightly musty courtroom drama, with Romaine leading the pack, feline and cryptic in beatnik beret and blood-red lipstick. But housekeeper Janet Mackenzie (Mandi Symonds) and even the hardly-seen jealous woman, and mysterious blond (Lily Blunsom-Washbrook) in the second half are a glorious disruption.

Where previous casts have chosen a slightly subtler route, this new production has opted for campy over-the-top histrionics which I think suits the echoey chamber and oft-nightmarish script perfectly. Leave the naturalism to the proscenium arches.
The courtroom setting is of course a highlight, the lofty ceilings and dark wood adding flair to what is otherwise a pretty conventional production. A select few are seated as the jury, and others are sat in the press gallery. The rest of us play a ghost audience to a murder trial that has happened many times before in this same space. It’s just unusual enough to appeal to the savvy theatre goer, and plenty accessible for the enthusiastic novice looking for a good story to get stuck into.

The production claims to be running only until September, but considering how long The Mousetrap has been going, I’d say there’s still a good appetite for Christie in the city, and Witness is a much snappier story in a far more engaging setting.


Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

Photography by Ellie Kurttz


Witness for the Prosecution

London County Hall – currently booking until 25th September


Previous review of this show:
Witness For The Prosecution | ★★★★★ | September 2021


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Review of Boom – 4 Stars

Boom thespyinthestalls.com


Theatre 503

Reviewed – 9th August 2017





“an extremely entertaining and insightful piece of theatre that breaks the stereotypes of sci-fi plays.”



Boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb was a fantastic surrealist production that combined the bizarre with the hilarious. Directed by Katherine Nesbitt, this apocalyptic drama was funny and engaging but also carried some insightful observations of human behaviour and was filled with intrigue and twists. Jules the protagonist places an internet advert for ‘sex to change the course of the world’ an advert that is answered by a young student called Jo. It quickly emerges that Jules is in fact gay and the advert was meant in a far more literal sense than expected. Jules, a marine biologist has discovered that an apocalypse is nigh and has invited Jo to his bunker to survive and procreate with him.

The whole cast was fabulous delivering impressive, high energy performances. Will Merrick’s performance was sensitive and entertaining in his portrayal of the awkward, well-meaning Jules and Nicole Sawyerr played the spunky, stubborn character of Jo with a relatable frustration. Mandi Symonds provided a hilarious and energetic performance as Barbara and really drew the audience into her story bringing even more excitement and humour to the stage.

The set, by designer Nicole Blackwell, added to the intrigue of the story with a variety of bizarre objects. A large yellow door was in the middle of the stage with a fish tank, a strange chair with levers all over it, a chest of drawers, ipod speakers and a stool. As the narrative unfolded all these items became relevant to the story right until the climax at the end of the play. The costume was colourful and intriguing, like the narrative.

Boom provides impressive, impactful performances. Combined with an excellent creative team and exceptional writing, the result is in an extremely entertaining and insightful piece of theatre that breaks the stereotypes of sci-fi plays.


Reviewed by Olivia Ellison

Photography by Lidia Crisafulli 




is at Theatre 503 until 26th August



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