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Rough Justice


About Rough Justice

James Highwood is on the stand for the murder of his handicapped child.

He conducts his own defence, admitting responsibility but pleading manslaughter' The battle to have his intentions understood brings him into conflict with the prosecutor, a well-known pro-lifer'.

This adroitly written courtroom drama premiered in 1994 with Diana Quick & Martin Shaw.


  • Genre: Drama

  • Director: Julian Oldfield


Brad Mitchell

PC Ramsden

Peppa Sindar

Margaret Casely QC

Peter Nethercote

James Highwood

Jill Dunne

The Judge

Bob Thurman

Jerry Ackroyd

Brian McClelland

Dr. Simon Kerr

Katrina Hill

Dr. Hannah Radzinski

Linda Ogier

Jean Highwood


  • Directed and Designed

    Julian Oldfield

  • Stage Manager

    Sally Read and Sarah Kernighan

  • Lighting

    Jarrod Le Brocq and Carly May

  • Sound Recording

    Michael Zala

  • Legal Advisor

    Peter Jacobs

  • Coat of Arms

    Tammy Jones

  • Photography

    Brian Coffey

  • Graphic Design

    Peter Freund


Reviewer: Gail Sjogren

Everyone enjoys a good courtroom drama and this play is one of the best. A gripping exploration of the mercy-killing of a severely brain- damaged baby sounds a pretty grim subject, but excellent performances and a tightly woven script ensure the audience is involved every step of the way. The cast is headed by Peter Nethercote, outstanding as the father accused of the murder of his baby son. By turns aggressive and distraught, he challenges the legal system and enlists our sympathies as he conducts his own defence and locks horns with the prosecutor and the judge.

Peppa Sindar as the prosecutor gives a masterly portrayal of a brilliant barrister, seemingly unsympathetic but showing a human side as well. Jill Dunne's judge is by turns helpful to the difficult defendant and protective of the justice system while always authoritative. The small supporting cast includes Robert Thurman, utterly believable as the defendant's despairing solicitor and Linda Ogier as his emotionally exhausted wife. Sensitive direction by Julian Oldfield ensures the impact of the situation is tightly controlled and the suspense sustained until the very last. Will he be found guilty?

Is his action contemptible or justified? As the truth is gradually revealed, the nature of Justice' is shown to be at times rough and always far from simple, though in the long run fair to all.