Trial drama gets the audience involved

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Accused - Thornton Little Theatre

Read all about it! An important murder trial is taking place this week in Thornton. Dr Patrick Sherwood is accused of murdering his wife by injecting her with a prescription drug, allegedly obtained by Nurse Jennifer Mitchell, his mistress. Don’t be alarmed – Court Number One of London’s Old Bailey has been transported to the Thornton’s Little Theatre, by Poulton Drama, in Jeffrey Archer’s courtroom thriller, The Accused.

Set in the round, the audience are not only more closely involved in the drama of the piece; they are also invited to act as jurors and deliver their verdict.

Red herrings abound as a succession of colourful witnesses are called to give evidence as the combative barristers; prosecutor Anthony Kersley QC, and Sir James Barrington for the defence pursue the course of justice together with their own professional rivalry and personal animosity – Stuart Holden and Colin Johnston playing their respective roles with conviction. Presiding over court proceedings, Mr Justice Cartwright, played with idiosyncratic aplomb by Ian Rowe, as the twinkly eyed archetypical old school judge keeping order in the court. Claire Hull, as Jennifer Mitchell the ‘Star Witness’ for the prosecution proved to be both convincing and duplicitous in equal measure. Also worthy of mention, newcomer to the stage, Anindya Banerjee, the slightly daunted, but not easily put down pharmacist Masood Hussein.

How do you find? Guilty or not guilty – You decide...

Directed by Tony Stone, The Accused runs to Saturday at Thornton Little Theatre.

Jury seats available on 01253 894330.