Naked Justice - by John Mortimer
26th, 27th, 28th October 2006


Cast           Production Team
'Uncle Fred' John Haylett   Director Val Parker
Hubert Howard Platt   Production Assistant Dorothy McCall
Elspeth Karen Rogers   Stage Manager Jean Cooper
Keith Andrew Rogers   Assistant Stage Manager Marc Sardinha
Cassandra Cresswell Emma Shadrack   Properties Sue Langham
Mr Swiver Peter Gerlis   Continuity Babs Oakley
Byron Johnson Dan Hossack   Set Design & Construction Stephen Radley
Marston Dawlish, QC Martin Howarth   Lighting Design Terry Tew
Roddy Boyes Mark Langham   Sound/Lighting Operation Lynn Marsh
Detective Inspector Dacre

David Rumble

Mrs Breadwell

Jean Grover


Review by Jacquie Stedman

The latest production from LADS was a play by John Mortimer ‘Naked Justice’. Written in true Mortimer fashion it combined a basic plot based on an accusation of assault and abuse with the more subtle relationships between the members of the Circuit Bench, and how this impacted on the outcome of the trial of the defendant.

Set in arena style and on three levels, it provided clear areas in which the players could develop the plot. Using the audience as the jury in the courtroom scene enabled us all to see the interaction between the Counsels for the Defence and the Prosecution and the various witnesses.

On the lower level we had the sitting room of the house in which the three Circuit Judges were staying for the duration of their visit. This was furnished comfortably and because it was arena-style afforded the actors the benefit of natural movement within the confines of the ‘room’.

The actors had developed their characters very convincingly and, without exception, retained their characterisations throughout. Although the cast consisted of both new and seasoned players the performances were measured and believable.

The judges, ‘Uncle’ Fred (John Haylett), Elspeth (Karen Rogers) and Keith (Andrew Rogers) related well to each other. Keith was a bigot whose repressions became understandably clear with the arrival of Roddy Boyes (Mark Langham), bringing with him dark remembrances of Keith’s past youth. Elspeth was a career woman who was trying to convince herself that marriage was the last thing she wanted but felt that Roddy really was possibly her last hope. ‘Uncle’ Fred was rather a benign chap who really didn’t want to punish anyone, and whose tolerance for his fellow man even extended to Keith, whom he didn’t like at all.

They were all looked after during their stay by Hubert (Howard Platt) who showed great concern for their comfort and his mother’s culinary adventures.

Roddy transpired to be the catalyst by which ‘Uncle’ Fred was able to persuade Keith to temper his judgement in the trial of Byron Johnson, a part played by newcomer Dan Hossack. His legal team, consisting of his brief Cassandra Cresswell (Emma Shadrack) and his solicitor, Mr Swiver (Peter Gerlis) were very professional in their approach both in the cells and in court, where Marston Dawlish QC (Martin Howarth) proved a dominant character.

Detective Inspector Dacre (David Rumble) and Mrs Breadwell (Jean Grover) completed the cast with two convincing appearances in the witness stand.

Because of his legal background one must assume that there is a large element of truth in this play, and because of that we are made to understand, through the relationships in this play, that members of the high echelons of the criminal justice system are human - just like the rest of us.