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Katie Buchholz - Witness For The Prosecution Interview

Over at the magnificent surroundings of London County Hall you can experience the intensity and drama of Agatha Christie’s gripping story of justice, passion and betrayal in a unique courtroom setting.

The story follows Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high - will Leonard survive the shocking witness testimony, will he be able to convince the jury, and you of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?

Currently playing in the production is the 10th cast for the run and playing the role of Romaine Vole is Katie Buchholz who we caught up with to discuss the show further.

Firstly, welcome to the cast of Witness for the Prosecution. Can you please tell me a little bit about the role of Romaine Vole and where she fits in to the production?
Romaine is the wife of Leonard Vole, who has been accused of murder. She is fiercely intelligent, dynamic, mischievous and unpredictable. She can occasionally be a bit of a troublemaker.. 

What attracted you to wanted to be a part of the production?
I really loved the character of Romaine - it’s so rare to get a period piece in which the woman is such a huge driving force of the action. Normally it’s the men that drive the plot and the women just react, which is a lot less interesting to play. When I first read the script I was so taken by how brilliant Christie’s plot was. You think you’re one step ahead of her and you solved it and then she pulls the rug from under you.  
What is your creative process once you got cast? Do you revisit Agatha Christie’s text or even see the production or do you let the script do the work?
I deliberately didn’t see the production because I wanted to feel like I had discovered it myself and wasn’t stealing any ideas from anyone else. For me, a lot of the process comes from being in the room. I think you discover a lot from what the other actors give you and I try and make it as a collaborative process as possible. I also studied the text in detail; I think Agatha Christie is so clever in leaving little hints about the characters that are so helpful! 
You’re leading as part of the 10th company in this production, why do you think this story continues to captivate audiences?
I think it’s a great evening for everyone; On one level it’s a thrilling story with a captivating and unpredictable plot that has the audience guessing at each turn who’s the culprit, but I also feel as a piece of theatre it goes beyond just being a ‘whodunnit’. It’s a piece that explores class, prejudice, passion and loyalty. I think it’s one of Agatha’s finest. 
Set in a unique courtroom setting at London’s County Hall. Does the setting help you in getting into character?
I really adore the courtroom- it’s such a spectacle and I love how it has changed so little since it was originally used for real cases. The space really allows the piece to feel all the more realistic for both the cast and for the audience as well. You have audience members taking notes throughout the case and occasionally they get so into it they interact with the lawyers and witnesses. 
The production is immersive for audiences, so you have to approach this any differently from an acting perspective?
I don’t think my approach has changed but sometimes the experience feels totally different. Normally when you hear audience members titter throughout the performance it’s not a great sign, but in this I absolutely love hearing them discussing their theories and tittering about you as you walk past them in them courtroom. 

What keeps you inspired as a creative?
I think trying to see as much of other peoples’ work as possible. Sometimes when you’re in a production it’s hard to catch other theatre, but whenever I see a brilliant show I walk out buzzing. The great thing about being an actor is you have lots of friends in productions or tv shows or making their own work and it gives me a real thrill to support my friends doing fantastic things. Especially when the industry can occasionally feel inaccessible, seeing people close to you in great shows makes it feel that those opportunities are attainable. 
What do you hope an audience takes away from seeing the production?
 I hope that they feel like they’ve been in on the journey with us. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a show where the audience feel so part of the action! I hope we take you on this thrilling ride with us, and you have as much fun as we do performing it! 

Katie Buchholz is represented by BBA management and is starring in Agatha Christie's Olivier award-winning courtroom murder mystery Witness for the Prosecution as Romaine Vole in London’s West End. Tickets are available here:

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