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March 27, 2024

Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution: Meet the Characters

2017 London County Hall production of Witness for the Prosecution (Tristram Kenton)

Agatha Christie’s classic Witness for the Prosecution (US/UK) blends loyalty, kindness and jealousy in an intriguing suspense thriller set in motion by the murder of the wealthy widow Emily French. Leonard Vole, accused of the crime, becomes entangled in a web that seems to have no escape. Though Leonard expects his wife, Romaine, to provide his alibi for the night of the murder, the mystery instead climaxes with a major twist. Did Leonard murder Emily French? What about the devoted and possessive maid who expected to inherit Emily’s fortune? Who, indeed, is this “witness” who turns the mystery on its head?

The play is chock-full of delicious roles, providing ample opportunity for every member of the cast to stretch their acting wings. Here’s a look at the show’s dynamic array of characters:

Leonard Vole

Young, naive and likable, Leonard finds himself wrapped up in the murder of an elderly woman whom he has befriended. He is befuddled as his world falls apart when his wife sabotages him in court.

John Mayhew

Representing Leonard, Mayhew comes across as shrewd and serious. As someone who works strictly by the book, he is forced to deal with one surprise after another. As the case takes on a life of its own, Mayhew forges ahead in his targeted defense of Leonard.

Sir Wilfred Robarts

Convinced by Mayhew to take on Leonard’s case, Robarts becomes embroiled in an unexpected twist. When he meets Leonard’s wife, Romaine, the case blows up, and Robarts is forced to navigate the ups and down of the evidence until an explosive finale.


Robarts’ typist is lightheaded but confident. She is so obliviously self-assured, in fact, that she can’t seem to find anything wrong with someone who is being accused of murder.

Mr. Myers

Straitlaced and on top of the facts, the prosecutor in the case against Leonard tries desperately to prove his guilt.

Mr. Justice Wainwright

Even-tempered and professional, Justice Wainwright rules the courtroom with authority and confidence.

Dr. Wyatt

Unflappable and determined, the “police surgeon” reports unemotionally on the physical details of the murder.

Emily French

It is the murder of Emily – who is extremely wealthy, lives with her housekeeper and eight cats, and enjoys the company of younger men – that blows up the life of her dear friend Leonard.


Romaine is Leonard’s devoted wife. A foreigner, she paints the picture of a devious past and turns Leonard’s life upside down. She is mysterious and manipulative while she spews her own version of what happened on the night of the murder.

Janet MacKenzie

The suspicious and vengeful housekeeper with a sour personality expected to be the beneficiary of Emily’s will before Leonard came into the picture. How can Leonard take what is rightfully hers? Janet is determined to see him punished and put in jail.


The Woman drops in and out of the story with a demeanor that is both elusive and mysterious. She remains anonymous until the very end as she ultimately changes the course of Leonard’s future.

To license a production of Witness for the Prosecution, visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.