OCT 00] BELGRADE THEATRE REVIEW - THE ACCUSED
Guilty Of A
rather implausible and slightly absurd in places, but Jeffrey
Archer’s new play grips the audience until the end.
centres around a murder trial in which Patrick Sherwood, played by
Archer, is on trial for the murder of his wife.
a few minutes anyone who has been to a serious trial can see that it
isn’t going to bear too much resemblance to reality.
it is impossible to keep the audience in the theatre for three weeks
while evidence is meticulously presented to the jury.
few corners have to be cut, and the witnesses present a rather
confusing picture as a result. They are often questioned by the
barristers on their motives for giving evidence, instead of some
important aspect of the case.
the put-downs, interventions and asides from the barristers would
never be seen, let alone tolerated in a real courtroom.
all this it is hugely entertaining. It is much funnier than the
average murder trial in real life and with the audience acting as the
jury, it becomes quite engrossing.
the stakes rise, the two central characters outline their version of
events. The audience knows one has to be lying, and has to digest the
distractions and red herrings as well as what could be the truth.
making his stage debut, is quite a good witness, although he gets a
smoother ride from his barrister with a more sensible line of
CARTWRIGHT, PLAYED BY TONY BRITTON, SUMS UP TO THE JURY - THE AUDIENCE
Mitchell, played by Emma Davies, Sherwood’s alleged mistress, brings
out more emotion, and still seems to be introducing new evidence
during her re-examination.
thought it was obvious that Sherwood was guilty, despite a last minute
bombshell as he stood in the dock, and voted accordingly.
Archer has rewritten some scenes because he was always being
acquitted. In the end it was a close run thing, but the audience sent
his character to prison.
is yet another twist at the end. It would be interesting to see how
that changes if he is found not guilty.
Saturday 4 November
time 2 hr 50 min
from £6 to £18
office 024 7655 3055