THEATRE REVIEW: Is the rule of law one big parlour game with one life?

Ginny Davis (left) as prosecutor Judith and Sharon Baylis is defence counsel Mandy in Learned Friends, a Lincolnshire Rural & Community Touring performance at West Deeping Village Hall.  Photo supplied.
Ginny Davis (left) as prosecutor Judith and Sharon Baylis is defence counsel Mandy in Learned Friends, a Lincolnshire Rural & Community Touring performance at West Deeping Village Hall. Photo supplied.
  • What happens when the jury is out?
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Learned Friends, Lincolnshire Rural & Community Touring, West Deeping Village Hall

A high-profile football manager is on trial for wounding, with the English legal system as we know it at stake.

That was the cliffhanger on which Ginny Davis’s Learned Friends, staged at West Deeping Village Hall on Saturday night, was set and played out.

Ginny, a former criminal barrister herself, allowed a member of the audience to choose one of two outcomes for the case which saw the fictional football boss, Philip Bullimore, found guilty before being cleared on appeal.

However, overshadowing the court case were principles of fairness, justice and “the right thing to do”.

The moral dilemma facing Ginny’s partner in the play, actress Sharon Baylis as defence counsel Mandy and with it her discovery of Ginny’s character, prosecution counsel Judith, deep in an affair with His Honour Judge Savage.

Ginny Davis and Sharon Baylis, stars of Learned Friends at West Deeping Village Hall.  Photo supplied.

Ginny Davis and Sharon Baylis, stars of Learned Friends at West Deeping Village Hall. Photo supplied.

In the end, Mandy did the right thing which ended and effectively ended both Mandy and Judge Savage’s careers in law - but not without a cost to the two barristers’ relationships as well.

With obvious nods to both Silk the 1950s classic courtroom film, Twelve Angry Men, Learned Friends left its audience in no doubt as to the seriousness of being called up for jury service.

Review by Winston Brown

‘The jury system is the hallmark of a civilised society’