Set in the Irish enclave of Boston, Frank Galvin (played by Ian Kesley) is a washed up lawyer on the brink of a meltdown. As he’s pulled into a legal case that faces off against a massive medical establishment, Frank learns difficult lessons on just how far some people will go to win in a legal battle. Directed by Michael Lunney, the audience are immersed in a tale of meandering alibis, deception; and Galvin butchering the Irish language in a tough, Boston drawl.
Based on the 1980s’ film, which featured Paul Newman, the play definitely feels like a story that was once meant for the big screen. There were points where it seemed to be unfolding rather slowly, and transitions between scenes were rather clunky.
However, each performer more than made up for the production shortcomings with their shining charisma and excellent comedic approach.
There’s the hilarious Denis Lil, who plays a retired Jewish lawyer, and offers up a much needed laugh in what is a rather intense piece of viewing. Then there’s Jospheine Rogers, who plays Donna, who opens up a harrowing viewpoint on how women are treated differently in the professional workforce.
Holly Jackson steals the show with her portrayal of Nurse Stampanatto – a paramountal figure in the court proceedings. Her innocent disposition and naievty cause her to make a revelation which completely upheaves the case, sending it in a whole new direction in a shocking twist.
The Verdict is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre that turns a courtroom drama into a riveting story.
Review by Kevin Worrall