The autumn season at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester is about to open with a real thriller.

Multi-talented director Simon Philips is bringing an innovative approach to his production of Witness For The Prosecution by Agatha Christie.

He is using minimal scenery and the ambience is going to be created as though watching a film of the show in 1950s black and white.

This is a play written by Agatha Christie and involves many twists and turns which are typical of the writer.

The courtroom fairly crackles with emotional electricity as Sir Wilfred takes up the defence of Leonard Vole, a man who is charged with murder and up against a barrage of circumstantial evidence.

Tip Top favourite Sally Dillon is playing the part of Romaine Vole. Sally has appeared in many productions. The last few plays were Blithe Spirit, Calendar Girls and Flint St Nativity.

She explains that she has been chatting with her German colleagues at work so she can try to get the German accent right for her character.

John McGinn of Queen’s Park, Chester, brings to the part of Sir Wilfred wit and fun. This is John’s second role with Tip Top having played Martin Dysart in the company’s production of Equus in March.

He has also completed a one act play for Clwyd Community Theatre, in Pinter’s One for the Road for which he won an award for best individual performance.

John has designed and built six sets in the last 12 months at Chester and Grove Park.

Chris Niall-Evans is a new member of Tip Top and plays the barrister for the prosecution Mr Mayhew.

He has been teaching law for 33 years and this year he actually gets to be a solicitor in this play.

Chris has written and directed five pantomime/musical productions in the past and appeared in two of Ellesmere Port’s original pantomime productions.

Writing and staging a musical in 1999 based around the hit musical Return to the Forbidden Planet was, he says, a major achievement.

Sally Dillon makes her entrance as Vole’s cool German femme fatale, Romaine Vole. She seems to be doing all she can to sell him out and appearing as the star witness for the prosecution.

Sally has acted in many productions at Tip Top and uses her talents to bring the character of Mrs Vole to the fore in this play.

An unusual twist to Witness for the Prosecution is that director Simon Philips has written a part for the character of Agatha Christie herself, played by Ruth Evans
An unusual twist to Witness for the Prosecution is that director Simon Philips has written a part for the character of Agatha Christie herself, played by Ruth Evans
 

An unusual twist is that director Simon Philips has written a part for the character of Agatha Christie herself, played by Ruth Evans.

Ruth has a long history of acting and directing with Tip Top Productions and is currently researching the exact look and voice for her role.

Strongly tipped for future success is Lottie Davies playing the part of Greta.

As a 22-year-old she has already been involved in various drama clubs since the age of 10 and was a keen member of Act One, the drama society in Cardiff University 2009-2013 and has also directed.

She has won three awards including best dramatic performance 2012, president’s choice 2012 and best set design 2013.

Other talented performers are Jinny Owen, who plays the part of Janet McKenzie, and Kiefer Jones, a 19-year-old drama student from Upton High School who is appearing in two plays at once. 

After graduating with a language degree, Jinny studied performing arts for two years, lives in Abergele and is involved in several amateur theatre groups in the area.

She has been an extra for the National Theatre and S4C and worked a season as a character actress at Warwick Castle.

Kiefer was last seen in April in Tip Top’s The Vicar of Dibley as Hugo Morton.

Witness For The Prosecution can be seen from September 9-21. Tickets can be booked via the box office: 01244 341296 or visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk.