We were not disappointed.This was a tremendous production, brilliantly directed by Sally Knyvette, taut, clearly spoken and generating real tension and engagement in the issues. The lawyers were living out their dreams along with some professionals, all to support the Paul’s Cancer Support Centre. But this was no amateur production. Pin-sharp casting produced some fantastic performances and a very high level of ensemble playing. As Judge Haywood, Stephen Boyd was totally convincing, a calm and beautifully controlled performance. Crispian Cartwright as Ernst Janning gave the performance of a lifetime: a truly brilliant piece of stagecraft, delivered with immense and chilling control. Peter Hill energetically represented Janning with admirable command and presence. Peter Dodge was a powerful prosecutor, giving no ground.
In the smaller roles, the standards remained impressively high. Iain Christie narrated with total assurance and control as well as being a clearly drawn tight-lipped Nazi defendant. Rachel Lawrence caught splendidly the ambiguity of the German widow. Although her soldier husband had already been hanged, she retained an affection for America and perhaps for Judge Haywood. Peter Cowell was quite superb as a German witness and Caroline Eady skilfully caught the fear of Maria Wallner. Rob McCreath doubled very persuasively, whilst Caroline Havers was a charming and confident local German. Jonathan Taylor an impressive and confident escort. No weaknesses at all in the supporting players. The music, haunting and evocative; high praise to Tim Phillips. Finally a thrilling and disturbing choreography of Khristallnacht by Thea Stanton. Definitely a huge success. Equity applications in the post.
Nigel Pascoe QC, Pump Court Chambers