Silence In Court

Aug 18 2019 | By More

★★★★☆  Immersive trial

Young Critics Scheme review
Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41): Fri 2 – Sun 25 Aug 2019
Review by Iskra Hearn

Silence in Court by the Edinburgh Little Theatre immerses the audience into a gut-wrenching court case and challenges them to decipher the truth – and provide a verdict.

At the start of the show the audience collect their complimentary pie and drink before making their way into the performance space where 10 of them are chosen to sit on stage and act as a jury for the following court case.

As the show begins we hear the testimony of Jennifer Lyons (Roza Stevenson) who claims to have been raped in a nightclub by the defendant Charles Brand (Frankie Cusack). Brand’s Lawyer (Rae Mitchell) and Lyons’ Lawyer (Max Reid) make their cases, each giving compelling arguments, and leave the jury to come to a verdict.

All the cast members deliver strong performances. Stevenson is touching and believable in her role as the accuser and Cusack is convincing and has a boyish innocence about him which he uses to his advantage. Mitchell is straightforward and precise as the defence lawyer while Reid is passionate and invested as the prosecution.

Presiding over it all is the Judge (Andrew Thoms) with the help of the court Usher (Derek Douglas). They both give understated and realistic performances that enhance the courtroom experience by making it more authentic. Douglas acts as a guide for the audience, walking them through the courtroom procedure and giving suggestions and pointers along the way.

everyone is given an opportunity

One of the most interesting aspects of the show is its departure from real court proceedings when jury members are invited to cross examine the characters on the stand. This gives the audience members on stage a chance to ask the actors questions on details of the case which they are curious about. Stevenson and Cusack handle the improvisation easily and seem prepared for anything thrown at them.

Although the show is undoubtedly more immersive for the audience members in the jury, everyone is given an opportunity to get involved. They can suggest questions for the jury to ask during their cross examination and share whether they believe the verdict should be guilty or not guilty.

One challenging aspect is the fact that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a correct verdict to be reached given the information supplied, leaving whether or not the jury get it right somewhat up to luck. Although this is mildly frustrating, the performance as a whole is still thoroughly enjoyable.

Overall Silence in Court by the Edinburgh Little Theatre is a fun and interactive experience worth the watch this Fringe.

Running time: 50 minutes (no interval)
Hill Street Theatre, 41 HillStreet, EH2 3JP (Venue 41)
Friday 2 – Sunday 25 August 2019
Daily at 12 noon
Tickets and details:

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Twitter: @edlittletheatre


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