By Reginald Rose
Directed by Sylvain Verdier
Cast: Jens Blegaa, Micah Epstein, Dennis Faix, Ed Kowalski, Andreas Lemcke, Viktor Mandrik, Anders Petersen, Martin Popplewell, Raymond Shinn, Vaughn L. Strother, Axel Thorson, Torval Thronberg
Sunday 2 and Sunday 9 June 2013 at 16:00
Krudttønden, Serridslevvej 2, 2100 Kbh. Ø (www.krudttonden.dk)
Twelve Angry Men was originally written by Reginald Rose in 1954 as a teleplay for the CBS series Studio One. Three years later, Rose adapted the piece to the big screen, casting Henry Fonda as Juror No. 8. The movie received excellent reviews but was not a commercial success. Rose wrote several stage adaptations. The script that CTC has chosen is the one used by Harold Pinter when he directed the show at the Comedy Theatre, London, in 1996. This play is well-known and has had numerous adaptations on TV and inspired many series and movies.
The plot is simple: 12 jurors are gathered at the New York Criminal Courts building during a hot summer day in 1954. They have to decide whether or not a young 16-year-old boy killed his father. Of the 12 men, only one initially thinks that there is reasonable doubt. He starts questioning every piece of evidence and manages to convince, little by little, every juror. Of course, the debate is animated, the true personality of every juror slowly comes through and they finally end up acquitting the young man.
The story was written during the McCarthy era in 1950–1954, a time when suspicion, racism, ignorance and fear were poisoning American society. Rose was obviously inspired by this, as all these themes are present in the show and many questions are raised: How much should one hold to one’s values when a life is at stake? Can one fight one’s own prejudices and be objective? Does a lack of diversity in the jury allow a fair verdict?
CTC has decided to present this show as a live radio play, an audacious way to present a rehearsed play reading that will appeal to the imagination of the audience and send them back to the 1950s.
You can see a selection of pictures from the rehearsals here.