It was great to be back in the theatre again watching a live play and what better place to be than the Headgate Theatre, Colchester and with the Reject Theatre Company.
The play itself is an interesting look at the Criminal justice system through the eyes of three criminals of differing ages and criminal intent.
Kieran Bacon as cocky minor criminal Danny Meadows found all the arrogance of youth and a clueless attitude in his banter back and forth with Pete Melrose played by Kevin Richards. If felt like Kevin was born to play this part showing all the ‘hard man’ antics we’d expect from a east end villain. The third defendant Maurice Melton Constable was cleverly delivered by Barry Hester. The character is an older gentleman and Barry was very believable as the aging lush. It’s easy to over play a character who is inebriated but Barry’s red face and slight unsteadiness on his feet added greatly to the performance.
This play is not just about the 3 defendants and the remaining cast were equally as strong. John Sullivan as the District Judge was suitably unimpressed and showed the right amount of disdain for the defendants in front of him. The ladies also were a vital part of the plot. Diana Baker as the bored and lazy Court Usher was well cast and Robyn Gowers as the Welsh Defence Solicitor had a beautiful lilt to her voice and found all the kookiness of the eccentric legal aid with just the right amount of eye rolling but it was Victoria Taylor who I really enjoyed as the upper-class Prosecutor, she was poised and had fantastic clear diction and I particularly liked her imitation of drunken Maurice.
The play itself is a fly on the wall look at a magistrate’s court and the defendants that appear there, I did find the ending a little confusing and out of touch with the rest of the piece as it didn’t seem to fit however the whole play, in the hands of The Reject Theatre Company delivers. There were no weak points and it was exceptionally well cast.
Another great production from the Reject Theatre Company.