I first saw the movie, 12 angry men, in grad school, as part of a course. It was meant to get us to rethink our prejudices and preconceived notions. Somehow, while the movie was interesting, it just didn’t ring as relevant in a class where there was remarkably little diversity.
Fast forward several years…last night I got to see the play performed on stage – and it was potentially one of the best things I’ve seen in the West End in a while. The performances were superlative, especially Tom Conti, who took over from Martin Shaw earlier this year, and Jeff Fahey.
Set in a sweltering New York jury room, the play covers the deliberations of the eponymous 12 angry men, 11 of whom start the play convinced of the guilt of the accused – a 16 year old boy. As the play unfolds, it tackles themes of racial prejudice, notions of justice, and the all-important question of “reasonable doubt”.
It’s on until mid-June at the Garrick Theatre.