We find the defendant….

Knowing the reputation of the mind-blowing productions put together by secret studio lab, when the opportunity to purchase tickets for their latest London show arose, i jumped at the chance.

Teased with nothing, except that “in the future it will be the audience at home who decide the fate of the accused” and invited to “travel to one of London’s most unique and historic venues and immerse yourself in the scandal of the year”, i clicked to book my tickets without hesitation and awaited more information.

On receiving my tickets, i gained an additional snippet of information. I would need to go to the Town Hall Hotel, E2 9NF and sign in at reception with a member of on trial TV.

On arrival, we were guided through the aesthetically gorgeous Town Hall hotel & apartments to a small bar area and asked to wait. After a while, we were greeted by the most ostentatious TV presenter i have enter come face to face with, think Caesar Flickerman (The Hunger Games), with an extra sprinkling of Soho chic. Our host for the evening informed us that we were to be the jury for a trial of a grisly crime (though what he would not say) and that the whole trial would be televised so that the people at home could watch along.

Next we were directed into another room, the courtroom for the evening (pictured above). In the year 2021 (the setting of the event), juries no longer consist of 12 people, so there were probably around 50 of us. In walked the judge, lawyers for the defence and prosecution and the accused. We were informed of the nature of the crime and each of the teams gave their opening statement.

After being directed through a series of corridors, we got to witness two reenactments (one from the defence and one from the prosecution) of the night of the crime. Both were equally gripping and quite disturbing to watch due to their realistic nature. The crime took place in the apartment of the accused and victim (which is beautiful beyond words, which is why i have provided a link). P.S If you ever want to feel like a celeb for the evening, while in the depths of East London, then this is definitely the place to do it.

During the short adjournment (interval), we were invited to go back to the apartment and take a look around. This was our opportunity to find any additional information that may have been overlooked.

Following the adjournment we watched various people on the stand, including the only “witness” and first police officer at the crime scene (for the prosecution) and the second arrival on the scene and character witness for the defence. Through their testimony, these voices bought to light concerns about racism, religious prejudice and celebrity status.

The next session saw a surprise break-out from the crowd of a “journalist”, the jury were challenged to confront the prosecution and defence lawyers with any additional questions they had or details of anything they’d found from their search of the apartment.

Now came the moment we had all be waiting for, the chance to debate the guilt/innocence of the defendant. If found guilty, the defendant would go free and if guilty, we would be taken to the ominous ‘studio 3’. Though some of the jury were very curious to see studio 3 and therefore willing to convict in order to get there, the overwhelming need to do the right thing won out and justice prevailed. This means that unfortunately i’m unable to divulge what delights awaited us in studio 3. Although, it was specified that capital punishment had be reintroduced by 2021, so it could be that the end for the defendant would have been a dramatically less happy one.

I have always wanted to be on a jury in real life and the BBC tell me that i only have a 35% chance of achieving that dream, but if this is the closest i ever get, then i’m happy to say that it come a close second.

Unfortunately the running of this production is over, so keep an eye on the secret studio lab for their upcoming shows.

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