As part of their 2016 season, Revels present the naturalistic classic courtroom drama Rough Justice. Narrating the intense tale of James Highwood's prosecution for the killing of his disabled child. In this production the audience become the jury and are addressed directly several times throughout the play. The plot continues, as do the outcomes and plot twists, and even though the outcome is finally revealed - Revels present it in such a way that allows the audience to continue to explore the morals of the story well after they leave the theatre.
Chris Cooper portrays the deteriorating, emotionally unstable character of James Highwood well, with further strong performances from his onstage prosecutor Paula Keogh who presented the cold-hearted and deceptive Margaret Casely particularly well. Additionally, Jayne Beecrafts's performance as Mr Highwood's wife, Jean Highwood - a rather mysterious role in the play - allowed for some real tension to be exploited. Aside from some exaggerated moments that could have done with some work to keep in with the extraordinary tension that the principal characters built up, the rest of the cast supported the story well.
Set and lighting was basic and provided a strong setting for the play, having said this there were some moments where the action was missing front lighting and actors were in darkness. With the incredible amount of tension built up by the talented principles, there is the opportunity to speed up the scene changes to help ensure the narrative isn't broken.
All in all, despite some line prompts, the overall piece was well presented and is easily one of the most thought-provoking dramas I've watched in a long time.
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