During last year’s Fringe, LR Stageworks presented Silence in Court, an interactive courtroom drama, which proved such a success both that original production and this brand new production are presented for the 2014 season.
The play’s interactive aspect is exemplary: it’s the audience that dictates the course the story will take, especially during the time allotted for deliberation.
Whereas Silence in Court followed a criminal trial, this production follows a civil proceeding. It’s the case of local tory MP Marcus Bailey against Ms Knott, editor of the Daily Globe newspaper following the publication of a story that suggests that the MP is paying male rent boys for sex.
The play unfolds in a room above George Street at the New Town Theatre, which is excellently mocked up to resemble a real court room. The audience is welcomed to the space by the court usher and the choice is open to take a seat either in the jury or the public gallery. With this decision made, the judge makes his entrance and the case unfolds for both the defence and prosecution.
The play’s interactive aspect is exemplary: it’s the audience that dictates the course the story will take, especially during the time allotted for deliberation. In the role of Bailey MP, Derek Douglas plays with conviction the role of a man who has fallen from a great height and lost everything. It’s obvious that both Bailey and Knott live in a world filled with secrets; it’s the revelation of these secrets that makes the play so enjoyable.
There is strong acting from all involved, especially Greg Esplin in the role of Kevin, the boy that holds the key to the truth. The play captivates with its unique style, ensuring that no two performances of the piece will ever be the same and making it one to see again and again just to see which way the jury will decide. With sharp writing, dedicated performances and script that leads the audience down many a path this is sure to be a hit of the Fringe, whether seen alone or in tandem with its sister production.