"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 skepticism.
Sandy Armstrong and George Middleton
Her testimony, in the middle of Act 2, is angry, emotional, and blistering. She wanted to protect the victim, Emily French, from the wiles of young men; or did she want to protect her stake in Emily French's fortune?; or did she feel jealousy of Emily's wandering heart?
You probably should come to find out.
Sandy Armstrong has been involved in community theater in one form or another for more than forty years. She produces, directs, does make-up, sets, and associated art work as well as performing. Sandy was a Founding Board Member of Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell and for many years produced and performed in shows for The Paint and Powder Club of Greater Lowell, raising funds for local children’s charities.
Some of her favorite roles include Mame in "Mame," Mother Superior in "Nunsense," Grandma in "Lost In Yonkers," Dotty in "Good People," and Jeanette Burmeister in "The Full Monty." On the AFD stage she’s played Ethel in "Moon Over Buffalo" and The Narrator in "Side by Side by Sondheim." Sandy has produced three shows for AFD and this spring she will co-produce "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" with Susan Harrington. Sandy was a 2014 EMACT Supporting Actress nominee for her role as Felicity in "The Shadow Box" and is a DASH Consultant for EMACT.