Labour MP to help judge whether Hamlet murdered Polonius

Written by David Singleton on 18 November 2016 in Culture

Jess Phillips will line up alongside comedians and top QCs for a one-off West End production.

Labour backbencher Jess Phillips will take to the West End stage later this month, as Hamlet is put on trial for stabbing Polonius through the arras.

The murder case will be heard at Wyndam’s Theatre in London, on 27 November, in aid of the Shakespeare Schools Festival.

The show will see a quartet of top silks question a cast of actors and comedians including Lee Mack, Meera Syal and Tom Conti.

And Phillips - who once said she would knife Jeremy Corbyn “in the front, not the back” if necessary - is set to sit on the jury.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley will be liaising with comedian Hugh Dennis who hosts the night as foreman of the jury. Other jurors in the box include Hardeep Singh Kohli, Dinah Rose QC, Joshua Rozenberg QC and Professor Russell Jackson, while young people from the Shakespeare Schools Festival are also on the cast list.

"With her reputation for fearless campaigning and frank parliamentary interventions, we have no doubt that Jess Phillips will be an exciting and articulate member of the Jury at Hamlet's Trial,” Shakespeare Schools Festival chief executive Ruth Brock told Total Politics.

“At the end of the prosecution and defence cases, six of the audience jury, including Jess, will be asked for their views on Hamlet's guilt or innocence - we look forward to hearing her take on the proceedings!

“Jess tells us she has never sat on a jury before, so we're delighted that Shakespeare Schools Festival has given her the opportunity for a new experience - and equally pleased that her support is going to help us stage a great night for our charity."

This trial follows the sell-out The Trial of Macbeth last year. For tickets go here.



Picture by: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images

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