In Her Defence

Date 14th July 2022
Society Compton Players
Venue Village Hall, Compton
Type of Production Play
Director Pete Watt
Written By Helen Saxton

Report

Author: Chris Horton

In Her Defence by Helen Saxton was originally a play called ‘Evil Will Come’ with a larger cast than this performance, slightly tweaked for the reduced cast due to the constraints of taking this preview version to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.   It is a short but enormously smart and subtle play.   It’s not a whodunnit or a whydunit but the premise is, will she get away with it? Told in various scenes, this very clever crime drama moves between before the murder at a flat, to the trial at the Old Bailey.   There is a surprise end with a twist I didn’t see coming.

The set was minimal.  Due to its transfer to Edinburgh the basic set – a living room that doubled as the Old Bailey, worked well. The absence of a full set kept the audience's concentration on the action.  The props were good with attention to detail such as labels on the murder weapon, 1940s black telephone and authentic looking cigarette case.

The costumes were excellent and basic changes enabled the actors to move between characters easily with the change of a hat (the housekeeper), cape (WPC) and barrister’s wig and gown.   

Helen Saxton (writer and actor) and Pete Watt (director and actor) should be enormously proud of this very polished production, designed and performed with professionalism and class.  The audience were totally absorbed throughout and everything about ‘Evil Will Come’ was totally believable. It was an intelligent telling of the age of story of the saying ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ and deserves a wider audience which would be achieved through publication of this canny and original thriller.