It’d be criminal to miss Witness for the Prosecution

It’d be criminal to miss Witness for the Prosecution

Main pic: Courtroom scene from Witness for the Prosecution. Photo credit: Normand Brassard

A review of the Quebec Art Company’s (QAC) interpretation of Agatha Christie’s ‘Witness for the Prosecution.’

Old-BaileyPerformances run November 27-29th at 8:00 p.m. and November 30th at 2:00 p.m.
Holland School 940, avenue Ernest-Gagnon in Quebec City.
General admission – $12, Seniors/Students/Groups – $10.
For reservations, call (418) 254-6552 and for more information, see www.quebecartcompany.com.

London’s West End, New York’s Broadway, and countless theatres around the globe – since its 1953 West End debut, this Agatha Christie classic has been put on in Lord knows how many towns and cities over the years.
And as of tonight, thanks to the cast and crew of the QAC, Quebec City can be added to that long and distinguished list.

I ventured to Holland School on rue Ernest-Gagnon to take in the opening night and see what the large cast had to offer.

Don’t ever let it go unsaid that fun is a not professional business.

For the members of the audience to have fun and enjoy themselves at a production such as this, an incredible number of dedicated volunteers have to give up their time to make everything tick.

And the QAC’s offering of Agatha Christie’s ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ was no exception.

Hours and hours of rehearsals, learning of lines, acting out scenes and seeing it all come together, ably supported by a backroom team who designed the set, sold tickets, promoted the show, and did the often unappreciated yet essential administrative tasks (of which there are far too many to mention here).

So on to the show itself – Leonard Vole, a young man who doesn’t amount to much stands trial for the murder of a wealthy older lady. A lady he may have taken a fancy to, much to the annoyance of his German wife.
This courtroom drama is full of suspense, the plot moving fast, with the assembled cast ensuring that it twists and turns along the way. As the story unfolds, the mystery remains.

Nathalie Peron, entrusted with directing the play this time around (her 4th as a director, and 2nd Agatha Christie), clearly enjoyed her role this time out. ‘There’s a big cast, and it was hard work fiddling with people’s schedules and getting everyone together. I’m glad the show turned out the way it did, and this great cast can be proud of the show we’ve produced together as a group.’

There were many new faces in the cast this evening, including some in the main roles. Jerry Garagan as Leonard Vole, Cara Gerard as Romaine, and Dennis Drainville as Mr. Meyers, Q.C. stood out.

I managed to catch up with Cara after the show. She was beaming, and as well she should be.

She told me ‘I really enjoyed playing one of the leads. I had such a great role and it was a wonderful experience. The cast was responsive and that made it all worthwhile.’

I asked her how she got involved with the QAC?
‘I’ve been to see a few of the plays, and I was coaxed into it by a couple of friends. I’m delighted they did.’

I spoke with a couple of members of the audience and they had this to say about tonight’s opening performance:

Clear, confident delivery from Dennis Drainville. Solid cast all round, fantastic set design and a plot that kept you gripped right to the end. The final twist leaves you all ashiver.’
Martin Trager

‘I loved the show. The costumes stood out, as did Romaine. Great job with the accents.’
Larry Hodgson

It’s a show worth going to see, and if you read this in time then I urge you to do just that.

For the price of a coffee and a pastry you can see for yourself just how professional this is, and appreciate the amount of work that goes in to putting something of this magnitude on.

Witness_FTP_QAC_Cast
Cast (in order of appearance):

Greta – Miriam Blair, Carter – Jason Beaulieu, Mr. Mayhew – Paul Cummins, Leonard Vole – Jerry Garagan, Sir Wilfrid Robarts, Q. C. – Doug Werden, Inspector Hearne – Aris Paterakis, Romaine – Cara Gerard, Mr. Justice Wainwright – Bill Cox, Mr. Meyers, Q. C. – Dennis Drainville, Usher – Helen Gosselin, Court Stenographer – Natalie Keller, Court Clerk – Lisa Shortt, Policeman – Jonathan L. Black, Warder – Joel Poulin, Dr. Wyatt – Donald Fyson, Janet Mackenzie – Patricia Grimaud, Mr. Clegg – Ladd Johnson, The Other Woman – Aurora P-Drainville.

Crew:

Nathalie Peron (Director), Michael Bourguignon (Assistant Director), Sharon MacLeod (Production Manager & Publicity), John Niederreiter (Stage Manager & Props), John Dickinson (Stage Crew), Frank Scardina (Stage Crew), Eric Rehm (Lights), Sylvain Huard (Master Carpenter), Cherly Rimmer Set Design & Set Decoration), Lisa Shortt (Set Decoration), Kyle Chapman (Costumes & Refreshments), Anne Letellier (Costumes), Malena Johnson (Make Up & Hair), Audrey Mawn (Make Up & Hair), Sheila Mawn (Make Up & Hair & Refreshments), Carol Beauchamp (Box Office), Yvan Breton (Poster), Normand Brassard (Photography), Peter Calkins (Front of House) & Mark Lepitre (Front of House).
……………………………………………………………..

If you missed the fun on this occasion fear not, for the next show will be along before you know it.

The QAC performs 2 shows a year and the next one is in winter 2015.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead will be directed by Michael Bourguignon.

Want to release your inner thespian?
Watch this space for details of upcoming auditions.

Categories: Arts & Culture

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind LifeinQuebec.com and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

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