Monday, 3 February 2014

Theatre: 12 Angry Men

Jumper: AX Paris, Coat: Missguided,
Leggings: New Look, Boots: Boohoo
Last month we went as a family to see 12 Angry Men at the Garrick Theatre. I’d never been there before, nor had I heard of the show in question, so I was really looking forward to it. The Garrick is near to Leicester Square and like so many of London’s theatres, looks in such good condition, despite its age. The exterior was old-fashioned and the interior matched, with dated carpets, but it adds to the whole experience – the place wasn’t falling down, by any means. With capacity of around 600, it definitely wasn’t full and we sat in the stalls, with a very good view of the stage. We were even served complimentary champagne on arrival from one of the bars (excellent tickets, dad!) – and I dread to think how much it would have cost. I drank mine at my seat, one of the many perks of theatre life.
Based on the 1957 film starring Henry Fonda, 12 Angry Men is a drama, starring 12 jurors (the angry men in title), who are known only by number, rather than name. The case in question is that of a young boy, who is believed to have stabbed his violent father. The fact he is black and from a slum background are salient facts in concluding whether or not he is guilty. The fact the jury panel is all-white also reflects the height of racism in the 1950s – which I’m sure wouldn’t be so much of an issue in modern day.
The jury are unable to come to a unanimous conclusion and the play is basically the 12 men determining the verdict. There’s a lot of initial prejudice but there are twists in the plot and drama ensues as soon as a couple of the panel change their mind, based on what they have heard. Eventually they are able to reach a decision.
I didn’t fully understand the story, failing to realise that the accused was from a minority. However, it was very well acted and the ending was particularly sentimental. It’s not the sort of play I’d choose to see personally, but it was very good – and if anything, I now want to see the film to make a comparison.
12 Angry Men is running at The Garrick until Saturday 1st March and tickets are available here for £37.50.
The highlight of any theatre trip!

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