Twelve Angry Men – currently playing at The Garrick Theatre, is a beautifully intelligent piece of drama that I would highly recommend seeing. Originally penned by Reginald Rose, this impressive piece is still as relevant in 2014 as it was in 1954 raising questions, casting doubt and provoking deep thought.
Set in 1954, we join the drama in New York County Supreme Court room and follow the story of 12 white jurors as they decide a mans fate.
This all star stellar cast deliver dynamic and fascinating inter-character relationships that are sensitively portrayed. A diverse cross section of society is represented amongst the 12 jurors with some extremely strong performances from the all male cast.
Tom Conti, an Olivier Award, a Broadway Tony and an Oscar nominee to name a few, is truly outstanding as Juror 8.
This show is evidence that one man can be a catalyst for change and Conti’s performance and presence really drives this home. His subtle nuisances and intellectual influencing of his fellow jurors really wins the audience over and he has us fighting his corner. Conti delivers such a powerful performance that at the interval we are left thinking will brain win over braun.
Other notable performances come from Jeff Fahey as Juror 3. Fahey delivers a very confrontational and complex, at times bullying, performance and we physically see his journey throughout the show.
Robert Vaughan’s experience speaks for itself and it’s not surprising that he delivers an intimate and heart, felt yet strong minded performance.
An interesting dynamic of alpha male characters is what is really fascinating throughout this piece and there isn’t a weak link in sight.
This show is hard hitting, gripping and will have you questioning not only the piece but your perception of society and prejudices as they were, and more frighteningly, may still be.
If you want to enjoy something different and unique in the heart of London’s West End then this will not disappoint.
Make sure you get along before the jury delivers their final verdict.
Reviewed by Matthew Wren
Twelve Angry Men plays at the Garrick Theatre until 14 June 2014. Click here for tickets.