Character Information - Witness For The Prosecution

Principal characters – Male

LEONARD VOLE

M 25 – 35

Acts 1, 2 and 3

The accused, He is likeable, friendly and down-to-earth.  A little down on his luck and clearly poorly educated. A Londoner who has been out of work.

SIR WILFRED ROBARTS QC

M 55 – 65

Acts 1, 2 and 3

Leading counsel for the defence. Sir Wilfred is wily, irritable and well-respected in court and in chambers.  He is famed for his cross-examinations and court successes. He exudes confidence gained from many a court room battle and he enjoys the cut and thrust of it.

MR MYERS QC

M 45 – 60

Acts 2 and 3

Leading counsel for the prosecution with some long complex speeches. He is mannered and fussy and Sir Wilfred finds him irksome. He needs mannerisms that can be copied by others making fun of him but nevertheless be able to command the courtroom when summing up the case for the prosecution.

MR MAYHEW

M 40 – 55

Act 1 and 3

The solicitor who brings the case to the Chambers of Sir Wilfred. He’s middle-aged and rather dry.

Smaller Roles: Male

CARTER

M 40 – 55 Acts 1 and 3

He is Chief Clerk to the offices of Sir Wilfred Robarts QC. He is efficient, experienced, a stickler for attention to detail. He suffers from lumbago – or at least has complained of it. He has worked with the Chambers for some time and is familiar with Sir Wilfred’s ways and foibles.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR HEARNE

M 40 – 55 Acts 1 and 2

Experienced and efficient police officer who arrests the suspect in Act 1 and gives evidence to the court in Act 2. He is thorough and well-prepared, well-liked and known on the criminal/court circuit.

JUDGE – MR JUSTICE WAINWRIGHT

M 60 – 70 Acts 2 and 3

One long speech to the jury plus some interjections during the trial, mostly as droll observations or put-downs to counsel.

DOCTOR WYATT

M 40 – 55 Act 2

Police surgeon attached to Hampstead division who gives evidence about the cause of death of the victim. Credible, experienced witness.

THOMAS CLEGG

M 30 – 45 Act 2

He works in the forensics lab at New Scotland Yard. Gives evidence about blood found on a jacket sleeve. Over-confident he slightly muddles his testimony. Limited lines but detailed – would make a nice cameo.

 

CLERK TO THE COURT

M 40 – 50 Acts 2 and 3

Swears in jury foreman, calls for their verdict.

FOREMAN OF JURY

M 30 – 60 Acts 2 and 3.

Takes the oath, watches the court proceedings and delivers jury verdict.

USHER

M 40 – 60 Acts 2 and 3

Calls for silence in court; administers the oaths to witnesses; Manages the court room activity such as presentation of items of physical evidence.

POLICEMAN

M25 – 40 Acts 2 and 3

Manages the transition in court between the court room and the ante-rooms. Helps to call the next witness and guide proceedings with minimal lines.

PLAIN CLOTHES DETECTIVE Act 1/WARDER Acts 2 and 3

M 30 – 50

None-speaking roles doubled. Accompanies DI Hearne on arrest visit to Chambers as detective and sits beside the prisoner in the dock in later scenes as warder.

BARRISTERS (2) – Mr Brogan Moore (defence) and Mr Barton (prosecution)

M 35 – 45

Non-speaking support roles – one to defence and one to prosecution. Acts 2 and 3.

Principal characters – Female

ROMAINE VOLE

F 30 – 40 (she needs to appear to be at least five years older than Leonard Vole)

Acts 1, 2 and 3

A German woman who is cool, crisp and matter of fact. Her voice is described as having an ironic inflection. This pivotal role calls for confidence with maintaining a German accent while being clear of speech. Also needs to be able to speak with a Cockney or other London accent.  She is Leonard Vole’s wife who testifies against him at his trial.

 

JANET MACKENZIE

F 40 – 65

Act 2

The Scottish companion housekeeper who looked after the murder victim and who gives evidence in court. She is hard of hearing. A cameo character role with opportunities for humour.

Smaller Roles: Female

GRETA

F 18 – 25

Act 1 and 3

A junior clerk in the Chambers of Sir Wilfred Robarts working for Mr Carter.  Giddy, flighty and flippant. Probably a cinema goer whose head is easily turned by a handsome face.

 

THE OTHER WOMAN

F 18 – 25

Act 3

Strawberry blonde with a crude, obvious appeal!

JUROR

F 18 – 60

Non-speaking role Acts 2 and 3