Capilano University is home to a beautiful theatre, the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts. The centre provides students in the university’s various theatre programs an opportunity to create and showcase first-class productions.

Witness for the Prosecution, a classic whodunnit by Agatha Christie, is the canvas on which the students display their talents. The play was originally produced in the 1950’s and was made into a film starring Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, and Tyrone Power.

[Aaron Post]

Agatha Christie’s plays are challenging for any actor as they are heavy on dialogue and subtle in their nuances of character. There are no special effects, no reenactments, just the facts retold.

I found the acting quality superb throughout the entire cast. Of special mention is Aaron Stewart, playing Sir Wilfrid Robarts. Stewart nailed the the speech patterns and physicality of an English Barrister from the 1940’s. The choice was made to keep the original setting in England and the actors were all able to speak with believable accents, including Romaine’s German accent played by Diana Beairsto.

[Diana Beairsto, Sean Fabisc]

Exit 22 Productions‘ student-produced set design and costumes were exceptional and transported the audience to 1940’s London. The production was done traditionally with no body microphones, so the actors had to rely on projection. While this was generally not a problem, with help from the excellent acoustics of the hall, several of the actors need to up their levels and make sure they take some breaths during the longer monologues.

Speaking of long, this play was almost three hours with two fifteen minute intermissions. I left the theatre wondering whether the play could be shortened and the sets changed without losing its integrity. A shout-out should also be given to the original music composed by Lesley Sutherland, used at the start of each scene, perfectly capturing the enigma of a murder mystery.

[Diana Beairsto, Aaron Stewart, Julian Legere]

Witness for the Prosecution entertains in classic Agatha Christie style and gives the audience the opportunity to see quality acting and production from Capilano University. The show runs through tomorrow evening at the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts.

Photos courtesy of Exit 22 Productions and Capilano University.

About Our Contributor MJ Ankenman

MJ Ankenman

MJ moved to Vancouver in 2005 and has been keeping busy ever since, enjoying all that the West coast has to offer, sharing discoveries through her writing and photography. MJ’s interests include yoga, biking, hiking, and enjoying BC wine. Follow MJ on Twitter @urbanista.


  • Pingback by Subtle in Their Nuances | CJ McGillivray — February 16, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    […] For further reading, find the complete review here on Vancouverscape. […]

  • Comment by Aaron Paul Stewart — February 19, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    It was a true pleasure to share this story with you. Thank you for the positive review.

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