The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north London, will feel the long arm of the law next week when for a third year top lawyers and High Court judges will stage a proper courtroom drama. The revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee’s 1955 classic Inherit the Wind, featuring 20 London legal eagles, will run for five performances only from 22 to 25 March 2006.

This will be the third Lawyers@Tricycle production, following the success of 2002’s Twelve Angry Men (which was reprised at Hampstead Theatre in 2003) and Have You Ever Been? in 2004. Tickets are priced at £25 for the Saturday matinee and either £50 or £75 for evening performances. Proceeds are donated to the Tricycle’s Education programme, working with disadvantaged local children, and Corinne Burton Memorial Trust.

Inherit the Wind takes its inspiration from the Scopes Trial of 1925, when a teacher in Dayton, Tennessee was prosecuted for teaching Darwinism in school. The “Monkey Trial” marked a turning point in media coverage of legal proceedings and made way for a secular education system in the US. Premiered on Broadway in 1955, the play was made into a 1960 film starring Spencer Tracy and Frederic March.

Sally Knyvette, who is directing the lawyers in Inherit the Wind at the Tricycle, says the play is especially “topical” now with the current debate over re-introducing “intelligent design” into the school curriculum in 14 US states, a move supported by President George Bush. As for the production’s unique casting, she told “Most barristers and High Court judges are actors at heart.”

- by Terri Paddock