Review: The Verdict - Guilty! Courtroom drama is gripping

The VerdictThe Verdict
The Verdict
BEFORE the lights have even dimmed, the action has started in Middle Ground Theatre Company’s gripping production of The Verdict.

Washed up Boston lawyer Frank Galvin, played by soap favourite Ian Kelsey, is in his office, preparing for the case that will either make him or break him.

Separated from his wife and kids and with a love of whisky as well as a dearth of cases, he has become an ‘ambulance chaser’ in his attempts to make the dollars he needs to pay his bills.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As Kelsey slips effortlessly into character, so the story unfolds, a tragic tale of medical malpractice that has left a young mother in a persistent vegetative state.

When Mrs McDaid, a heart-wrenching performance from Anne Kavanagh, hires Galvin to discover what really happened to her daughter Deborah Ann on the operating table, the lawyer finds himself becoming more embroiled in the case than he could ever have imagined.

Owned by the Catholic Church, a scandal at the hospital is the last thing Bishop Brophy needs and so an out of court settlement of $300,000 is offered.

When Galvin declines, there’s only one option left, to go to court.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But has he really got what is required to take on the best lawyers the church’s money can buy?

Consequently, having set the scene in Act One, the second act takes place in the courtroom as the evidence is heard and prosecution and defence lawyers battle for their desired verdict.

Kelsey gives Galvin a damaged charm that brings out the paternal instinct of his old friend and mentor Moe Katz - an acting master-class from veteran of stage and screen Denis Lill, in an utterly convincing performance.

Together, their exchanges crackle with energy as they deliver Barry Reed’s concise dialogue.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A true ensemble piece, the sheer wealth of experience and talent on stage becomes apparent in the courtroom scenes where a verbal game of cat and mouse ensues.

The trial is overseen by the cantankerous Judge Eldrege Sweeney, an unrecognisable Richard Walsh, who earlier doubled as Bishop Brophy.

That you can hear the proverbial pin drop as Kelsey delivers his emotionally charged summing up is a testament to the power of the piece.

As for the verdict, well, you’ll have to discover that for yourself,.. but do expect a twist or two along the way.

Run ends Saturday 4 May

Related topics: