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Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Jeffrey Archer
Thursday, November 18 to Saturday November 20, 2004
at 7.45pm
Knebworth Village Hall 

Tickets: £6 (£4 concessions) 
(Note new season's prices) 
Box Office: Jo Simson 01438 814166; 
Village News, Station Road, Knebworth.

Love him or loathe him, Jeffrey Archer is an acknowledged master story-teller and his first stage play, 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt', is no exception.

The play opens in the Central Criminal Court - the Old Bailey. Sir David Metcalfe (Colin Macleod) distinguished QC and Chairman of the Bar Council, is conducting the most important defence of his career - his own. Accused of the wilful murder of his terminally-ill wife, Millicent (a welcome return to the boards for Margaret Webb), Sir David finds himself locked in legal combat with his old rival, the aptly-named Anthony Blair-Booth, QC (KATS' major new star, Paul Spruce). We, the audience, start the play as the members of the jury. After a tense and gripping courtroom scene, Act 1 ends just as the foreman is about to deliver our verdict.

For Act II we switch to observers, as events leading up to the fateful night of Lady Metcalfe's death unfold. Like so many of Archer's tales, the play ends with a surprising twist.

The large cast - fourteen in all - includes welcome returns to our stage by Owen Curtis as Det. Ch. Inspector Travers, Felicity Corrie as Mrs. Rogers, the Metcalfes' housekeeper, Greg Parish as Dr Weedon; and a first appearance on the boards for a KATS' stalwart, the multi-talented Production Assistant-cum-Prompt extraordinaire, Mary Hearmon, who triples as the Court Stenographer.

Director Nita Gowans promises us an evening of suspense, laughter and tears as we decide for ourselves what really happened - and will happen, long after we have reverted to less taxing rôles than assessing how the accused may live out the days of his natural life. As he lives within hailing distance, Lord Archer himself has been invited along so he can assess our performance of his play.

Further information on this play/KATS: 
Jo Simson (01438 814166)


Reviewed: November 25, 2009

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