Any drama that pits the underdog against an opponent with massive resources creates tension from the off, and when Frank Galvin, a washed-up lawyer more likely to be found in a bar than a courtroom, decides to take a seemingly unwinnable case to trial, we know who we're rooting for.

Middle Ground Theatre Company's production of The Verdict, running at The Courtyard until Saturday, deftly builds the tension and Ian Kelsey's powerfully sympathetic performance as Frank gives us a David to believe in as he takes on the Goliath of the Catholic church.

As Frank reconnects with his integrity and his passion for the law to fight a case that everyone is urging him to settle out of court, he becomes increasingly committed to getting justice and a fair deal for the young mother left in a vegetative state by what appears to be catastrophic negligence. And he's not going to rest until everybody is called to account and the truth is uncovered. But it's a truth that proves elusive ... can he possibly win? And he must also ask himself who he's doing it for, when Mrs McDaid (Anne Kavanagh), the mother of his client, makes her feelings crystal clear.

Complementing Kelsey's nuanced and, in his closing statement, genuinely moving portrayal of Frank Galvin is Denis Lill as his former mentor Moe Katz and Josephine Rogers as Donna St Laurent, a woman he befriends in Eugene Meehan's bar, his home from home. Opposing him is the church's lawyer J Edgar Concannon, given the well-judged, barely controlled arrogance of a man who knows he's right.

The cleverly designed set, simply by lowering and raising short sections of wall, allows a glimpse of several locations - from the panelled room in which Concannon outlines his defence plan to Bishop Brophy and the defendants, Rexford Gilbert Towler MD (Paul Opacic) and Daniel Jonathan Crowley MD (Michael Lunney) to a Boston cafe, where Moe meets Mary Rooney, a nurse on duty that night and who just might know where the truth lies.

If you fancy an escape from the TV and a drama that's truly absorbing and thought-provoking, you won't do better this week than to book a ticket to The Verdict is at The Courtyard until Saturday, February 16. To book, call the box office on 01684 892277 or visit