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The Witness

Royal Court Upstairs

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#1 steveatplays


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Posted 09 June 2012 - 05:55 PM

The first half of the Witness is all telling and no showing, but bang, when David Ajala comes in in the second half, the fire is lit, and all three actors shine. Danny Webb is wonderful yet again, as a photographer who adopted an African child, and David Ajala's inscrutable and imperious and funny as the brother (or not) of the child (Pippa Bennett-Warner) the photographer adopted. The first half then, is a bit of a let down, but the second half is so good it's really worth it. 4 STARS.

#2 art87


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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:45 PM

How funny. I loved this but would definitely say that if push came to shove I enjoyed the first half more than the second. I felt the introduction of a third onstage character left the whole thing feeling a tiny bit looser and more meandering (but don't let that put you off, it's never less than excellent). And funnily enough I thought David Ajala was the weakest of the three - not to say he was bad, but I thought Pippa Bennett-Warner gave her best performance that I've seen her give since Caroline, or Change (off the top of my head I saw her in Ruined, King Lear and the Double Feature at the NT) and Danny Webb is beyond brilliant in it.

It's also the best script they've had upstairs in ages - really intelligent and gripping and rather moving. Vivienne Franzen has an awful lot of exposition to get through, and she doesn't hand it to you on a plate, but drips it in, so that you end up picking up the characters' history from bits of conversation rather than one or two big expository speeches. In other words it felt real.

And the set is great. Get there early and there's lots of fun to be had from watching people enter and try and work out where will give the best vantage point and then moving when they see another area looks more popular. The only downside is that to fit it all in, they've put the seats cripplingly close to the row in front. Front row sides (which are on the ground level so you can stretch out a little) highly recommened for anyone over 5'4".

It had been sold out but they seem to have released a whole load of seats for the second half of the run and I would highly recommend nabbing a ticket to this one if you haven't already.

#3 Honoured Guest

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:07 PM

New production on Drama on 3 on Sun 2 Feb with Danny Webb, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Chike Okonkwo and Lloyd Peters.


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