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STAGE CREW MAGIC!

We don't have a big stage at AFD, but we make the most of what there is. And for "Witness for the Prosecution," we do some real magic. It starts as a fusty law office of Sir Robarts; and then, presto change-o, becomes the Old Bailey, with the judge all perched on high. Our formidable stage crew makes the transition in no time flat, and you can watch the whole thing. Starring Maren Reisch as the stage manager. Come watch the magic starting Friday!

Appearing for the first time on the AFD Stage! From London England, Sir Robarts himself!

We're delighted to welcome George Middleton, in the role of Sir Wilfrid Robarts in "Witness for the Prosecution" (by Agatha Christie). George has lived in Arlington for a long time, but this is his first time on stage with us. An actor who trained in London and worked in New York City, George brings serious gravitas to the role of the defending barrister. Of his role, he notes, “Sir Robarts is a lovely role. He’s an English eccentric, a Queen’s Counsel that you get in the upper class of British society. As the top of the heap of the legal profession, he’s very self-assured. But he’s almost smug in his faith in the legal system, and Agatha Christie does shake that up a bit. Her play has some

One of Christie's most stubborn, enduring, mysterious characters: Romaine Vole

Nearly 100 years after Agatha Christie created her, Romaine Vole endures as one of the most complex, unsettling characters in modern fiction. She first appeared in the short story version of "Witness for the Prosecution" in 1925; then in the play and movie versions in the 1950s. Immortalized by Marlene Dietrich in the 1957 movie, she's been played by Diana Rigg, Andrea Riseborough, and Mary Kerridge. Her character bears a lot of weight, showing prejudices around gender, class, and nationality. A German in war-weary London, she's not trustworthy - nor transparent. A woman who speaks with force and clarity, she's neither lady nor servant. She's still, yet powerful; loving, yet dubious; truthf

"Leonard Vole? Why, that’s the name—it was in the paper..."

Is Leonard Vole a goofball innocent, caught up in a web of lies by a crafty German woman with few scruples but many wiles? Or is he a sort of Post-WWII Ted Bundy in a war-weary, threadbare London? You make the call, in our upcoming production of Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution," opening March 1! Patrick McCormick as Leonard Vole writes a note to his barrister. Vole is a fascinating character, by turns charming, befuddled, agonized, inventive--and a bit predatory. He charmed the spinster Emily French with his good looks, youthful vigor, and agile mind. Yet what was their relationship? He says he regarded her as his aunt; the housekeeper Janet MacKenzie says he was trying to bil

"You really expect the Jury to believe that?"

While Sir Wilfrid (the defense barrister/attorney) gets top billing in "Witness for the Prosecution," for my money the role of Mr. Myers, Q.C. (aka Queen's Counsel) is a bit more juicy and flashy. And it takes some serious acting chops to convey his passion, outrage, and -- confusion. Fortunately for AFD, we have all that in the body of Brian Lavalle, who brings a serious dosh of spice to the man who's determined to convict the shiftless Leonard Vole of murdering the spinster Emily French. Patrick McCormick as Leonard Vole and Brian Lavalle as Mr. Myers As the diabolical plot unfolds, we're all baffled to find that Leonard's wife, the steely foreign-born Romaine, turns up in court as a witne

"A daft thing to do"- The housekeeper spills the beans

"I was her housekeeper. I’ve no opinion of companions, poor feckless bodies, afraid to do a bit of honest domestic work." One of the more riveting and affecting moments in "Witness for the Prosecution" (by Agatha Christie, ahem) comes when the murder victim's housekeeper/companion takes the stand, and brings the woman's humanity and vulnerability to light. Janet MacKenzie, played by veteran actor Sandy Armstrong, is a woman trapped by class and gender (as well as her slight outsider status as a Scot) in postwar Britain. Fiercely loyal, obviously shrewd and clever, but caught up in domestic details, she loves her mistress, enjoys hard work, and regards men with more than a dollop of skepticis

Wigs and robes and suits and suits

Anna-Constantia Richardson is hunting down wigs. Not just any wigs -- barrister wigs. The ones w the white curls that barristers wear in court. Have worn in court for many years. She's also hunting down robes, ladies dresses and suits from the early fifties, and men's suits. Lots and lots of suits. She has pulled out a diverse selection of bits from the AFD costume room (yes, it's a whole room), and the rack is full. She walks us through the choices, enjoying the challenge, and the results. Anna's doing costumes for the upcoming production of Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution." It's a big production team, but it sure is fun to watch the pieces fall into place. Right, Anna?

Kevin Brunton is just so... judgey

Kevin Brunton (Justice Wainwright) is excited to make his debut at AFD. He portrayed Robert in The Way We Live Now (2018), a performance-based civic engagement project to facilitate public conversations about the opioid epidemic, and Richard Parker in the pilot for the TV series "Karma." He has also portrayed Arthur Schlesinger, an adviser to President Kennedy, for a class on leadership designed for the Kennedy School of Government, which discussed the different approaches to the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis; Funeral Guest in the film "In My Mother's Eyes;" and Creepy Caller in the student film "Gullible On The Ceiling." In addition, he has appeared in other student films for Bos

Hey! Why come see a 60 year old play? We got ya.

I was dubious, too. Agatha Christie? The old white British dame who wrote about a thousand murder mystery novels featuring detectives with elaborate mustaches and things like spats and monocles? But - hang on - it's not all that. I mean, it IS all that - in just this one play, you got wigs and the Old Bailey and a snooty barrister who literally looks down his long nose at dithering ladies and someone gets murdered with (no kidding) a "cosh" and there's an inheritance of 80 thousand pounds (!) - but it's not JUST all that. In fact, one of the sorta shocking and rebellious things about this play - we're talking "Witness for the Prosecution," if you haven't already seen that poster all over the

© 2019 AFD  |  Photos by Leslie Maiocco, Brigid Davis, Mary Babic

info@afdtheatre.org   |  781-646-5922  |  22 Academy Street  Arlington, MA

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