Witness for the Prosecution
BY Agatha Cristie
“Only Agatha Christie could have conceived such a suspenseful thriller and then capped it with an uncanny triple flip ending. A young married man spends many evenings with a rich old woman. When she is found murdered, the naïve young man is the chief suspect. The testimony of his wife is expected to result in an acquittal, but she is a shrew who damages his case and all but hangs him before a vindictive mystery woman appears with letters against the wife. After the man is freed, it is revealed that mystery woman is actually the wife. She discredited and perjured herself because she felt that direct testimony on her husband’s behalf would not have been sufficient to free him. When he turns his back on his wife and goes off with another woman, we realize that he was the murderer. He does not get away it, for there is one turn of plot remaining.” -Goodreads
Starting out, I was not expecting to like this play. First off, I generally don’t like reading plays, I do love to see them performed, but I’m not the biggest fan of reading them ( I think this is mostly because I would be reading stage directions as well and I constantly confused my left and right.) Secondly, I’m not the biggest fan of mysteries (unless there is a lot of romance thrown in). Despite both of these objections, I did enjoy the story. When I was in high school, the thespian society at my school performed “Witness for the Prosecution,” at the time I didn’t like it because of the emphasis on dialogue rather than actions. Reading the story now, I appreciate it more because the dialogue reveals each character’s true intent. Overall it was a quick read, at only 114 pages. If you haven’t given plays a try yet I recommend this one.
Side note, after searching the title so I could find a featured image, I discovered that the play was made into a move in the late 1950s.