Review: The Jury, at Upstairs at the Gatehouse
Wonderful performances from 12-strong ensemble as music underscores dramatic tension in courtroom drama
06 February, 2020 — By Ali Bambridge
The Jury is Upstairs at the Gatehouse
PART musical, part courtroom drama, The Jury follows the deliberations of 12 jurors in a murder trial as they struggle to come to a decision on the fate of the accused.
We are introduced to each juror as they receive their summons to court and watch their reactions. In this way, we witness the part ordinary people play in dispensing justice and how, unwittingly, trials and evidence can be tainted with childcare, business deals, holidays and most worryingly, prejudice.
The 12-strong ensemble do a wonderful job with each character given a succinct back story that reveals their own pressures and problems.
Hannah (Laura Meaton), grieving the loss of her baby, and Harry (Kaidyn Hinds), a transgender man, find unexpected solace within the jury room and bring their own understanding to the case. Meaton’s solo is particularly haunting.
There are other poignant moments in Joseph Meighan’s evocative production when Andy (Tom Blackmore) rushes out for the birth of his child and social worker Sarah (Laura Coard) reveals her despair as she remembers a child she feels she failed.
For Tom (Ashley Ball), the chance to secretly record the events and blog about them is a contemporary concern that highlights the fragile nature of the judicial process and the part the public play in its failure or success.
By focusing on the deliberation room, The Jury invites us to become part of the process.
The music by Ashley MA Walsh and lyrics by Amy Fletcher beautifully underscore the dramatic tension.
The choral work is faultless and reflects the mood of the room as the jurors swing between despair, anger and frustration.
Until February 16
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