30th April – 2nd May 1992
Accused of the wilful murder of his terminally ill wife, Sir David Metcalf finds himself locked in legal combat with his old rival, Anthony Blair-Booth QC. After a tense and gripping courtroom scene Act I ends just as we are about to hear the jury’s verdict. Act II takes us back in time to the fateful night of Lady Metcalfe’s death and ends with a surprising twist.
Court Usher: Mark Bailey
Clerk of the Court: Nick Roberts
Mr Justice Tredwell: Robertson Bell
Anthony Blair-Booth QC: Paul Shave
Det. Chief Inspector Travers: Mike Long
Sir David Metcalfe QC: Eric Saxton
Prison Officer: H Connolly
Mrs Rogers: Mary Warrington
Dr Weeden: Ian Hickling
Lionel Hamilton: Peter Monger
Mr Cole (Junior Counsel for the Crown): Paul Plested
Robert Pierson (junior Council with Sir David): Dave Hawkins
Stenographer: Angela Foster
Lady Metcalfe: Elizabeth Saxton
Produced by Enid Farr
Newbury Weekly News review
Ambitious production brought out their best
It was with some reservations that I approached Compton Village Hall for their production of Jeffrey Archer’s Beyond Reasonable Doubt. He certainly doesn’t rate amongst my favourite authors.
I needn’t have worried. Here was quite a well-crafted play superbly presented by the Compton Players. It was an ambitious production, two sets were required and the first scene, the Central Criminal Court at the Old bailey, could have easily been unconvincing. A tremendous amount of detail in costuming and directing ensured that the proceedings looked authentic.
The first act is the trial of Sir David Metcalfe QC who is charged with the murder of his wife. In the second act the scene is the drawing room of Sir David and Lady Metcalfe and is a flashback to nine months before the trial, where we can witness for ourselves what actually happened.
Looking the part and sounding marvellous was Robertson Bell as Mr Justice Tredwell. Paul Shave gave a most impressive and convincing performance as Anthony Blair-Booth QC, the prosecution, and his assistant Mr Cole was perfectly portrayed by Paul Plested. As Sir David Metcalfe, Eric Saxton must have given the performance of his life, with some fine acting of professional standard.
The various witnesses appeared and these too, were utterly convincing. Ian Hickling as Dr Weeden, Mary Warrington as Mrs Rogers, Peter Monger as Lionel Hamilton the family solicitor, and Mike Long as Det. Insp. Travers. All these must be praised for the high standard of their acting. Appearing as junior Counsel with Sir David was Dave Hawkins who also looked and sounded just right. Lady Metcalfe appeared in the second act and Liz Saxton played her skilfully and sensitively, and the husband and wife team added poignancy to the final scenes which were played with great feeling.
The other parts must be mentioned for they added much to the realism and whilst they may have had little or nothing to say, here too were convincing performances.
The sets were impressive and the changeover was completely silent. A feat indeed. The Compton Players must be congratulated on the highest possible standards they achieved. Enid Farr, the producer must take credit for a fine production.