An Old Bailey drama comes to Letchworth later this month with the audience acting as the trial's jury.

The Settlement Players will be staging The Accused by bestselling novelist Jeffrey Archer at the Little Theatre for three nights only, from Thursday, November 17.

The Accused is a tense courtroom drama with a difference – the audience will act as jury, as if they were in Court No 1 at the Old Bailey.

Director Jo Roskilly explains: “The play follows the trial of Patrick Sherwood, a respected heart surgeon who is accused of murdering his wife.

"At the end of the trial, the audience will vote ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ and then the play will continue – with one of two different endings, depending on the verdict.”

Jo adds: “We think our audiences will really enjoy being part of this production, listening to all the evidence and trying to work out what really happened.

"And for the actors it’s an exciting challenge, having to rehearse two different endings and not knowing which one they will end up performing each night.”

The Comet: Settlement Players present The AccusedSettlement Players present The Accused (Image: Settlement Players)

Graeme Bussey plays Sir James Barrington, barrister for the defence, and says of his character: “He will be the first to tell you he is at the top of his game.

“He knows all the tricks to get the judge and jury on his side, catch out the unreliable witnesses and discredit his opposition. Which in this case is his nemesis, the indomitable Antonia Kersley (played by Hannah Shaw), so the court battle is as much personal as it is professional and it’s a lot of fun to play!”

As well as the barristers, the cast includes their legal teams, the judge, court officials and a parade of colourful witnesses.

Jo admits: “After lockdown I have found it hard to get back to the things I love, and I know others have felt the same.

“It has been lovely to bring together a large cast and crew for this production and we are really looking forward to sharing it with the Settlement audiences.”


The Accused by Jeffrey Archer runs for three nights only, from Thursday, November 17 to Saturday, November 19, with curtain at 7.45pm at the Little Theatre, Letchworth Settlement in Nevells Road.

Tickets are £10 and available in person from David’s Music, Eastcheap, Letchworth, or online at