NAKED JUSTICE Comes To Upstairs At The Gatehouse
The Trustees of the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust will present the first ever London production of John Mortimer's legal comedy, NAKED JUSTICE, Upstairs at the Gatehouse from 1 to 5 April, with an amateur cast of barristers, solicitors and a High Court Judge, and a professional creative team led by director Alexander Lass, with design by Isabella Van Braeckel and lighting and sound design by Steve Taylor.
Three strange people, two men and a woman, arrive in a house where they are obviously expected. Who are they? They talk about crime. Are they criminals? The woman talks a lot about sex, what dubious business is she in? A play about the act of judging: can it be separated from the character and past of who sits in judgment?
The 'Lawyers in Action' troupe first came together in 2001 when the Tricycle Theatre under Artistic Director Nicolas Kent advertised for members of the legal profession to take part in two performances of Twelve Angry Men, directed by Jack Gold, in order to raise funds for the theatre's education programme. Kent hoped that members of the legal profession might enjoy the chance to perform outside the courtroom and bring their performing abilities onto a theatrical stage. Solicitor Grahame Gordon, one of over 400 applicants to audition, played 'Juror No 3', has subsequently been part of an evolving troupe of legal professionals who came together to perform productions at the Tricycle, all with legal themes: Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been? (2003) Inherit the Wind (2006), To Kill A Mockingbird (2008) and Judgement at Nuremberg (2011).
All proceeds from ticket sales of NAKED JUSTICE will go to support the work of the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust, set up over 25 years ago after the death from cancer of the wife of leading member of the troupe, High Court judge Sir Michael Burton. The Corinne Burton Memorial Trust is the only UK charity that exists to support the work of art psychotherapy for cancer sufferers, sponsoring an arts therapist at St Bart's Hospital in the oncology department, as well as an annual bursary for four students on the MA Course in Arts Therapy at Goldsmiths, University of London.
NAKED JUSTICE will star Grahame Gordon as 'Fred' (the role originally played by Leslie Phillips to great acclaim) and Sir Michael Burton as 'Keith'. Other members of the cast are Stephen Boyd as 'Marston Dawlish QC', Laurence Brass as 'Swiver', Peter Feldschreiber as 'Mr Breadwell', Steven Fogel as 'Roddy Boyes', Colin Manning as 'Detective Inspector Dacre', Bayo Randle as 'Byron Johnson', Bonnie Taylor as 'Elspeth' , Sandra Villani as 'Cassandra Cresswell' and Victor Wasserberg as 'Hubert'.
Grahame Gordon said, "Actors pretend to be someone else, lawyers pretend to be someone they'd like to be. When I was ten I told my father I was going to be an actor. He said 'ah, didn't I tell you? You're going to be a lawyer!' I said 'rightho' and, ever since then, I've been acting the role of an actor!'"
Sir Michael Burton said, "The day job for 20-odd years has been judging and dealing with the security services. Acting and being in a cast is little different, except that you don't write your own script."