When I heard that the play Twelve Angry Men was coming to the West End, I knew I had to go. It's one of my favourite films, but I'd never seen the play before, so when I heard they were selling half price tickets, I grabbed one. I went along on Wednesday evening, excited to see if it was as good as the film. It's one of those that you can watch over and over again and there's always something new you didn't think of before or properly listen to, or have even forgotten since the last time.
The Garrick Theatre is probably one of the smallest I've been to, it's similar in size to The Savoy. It was tiny, and I was shocked to see it was quite empty. Sadly I think many of the tourists just tend to see the big musicals rather than the plays that make up the West End of London. I'm a musical girl myself, but every so often a play is on that I just have to see, I'm still upset I never got to see Hedda Gabler before it finished.
Twelve Angry Men's headliners include Martin Shaw, Jeff Fahey, Nick Moran, and the brilliant Robert Vaughn. The play itself was just fascinating, it was even better than the film, and it still amazes me how it just pulls you in and I had my eyes glued to the stage for the whole 2 hours despite it being simply twelve men in one room discussing the court case that they're on the jury for.
If you're not familiar with the storyline, it starts with the twelve men on the jury being led into the room to discuss the trial and determine whether a 16 year old boy is guilty of killing his father or not. If found guilty, the boy will be sent to the electric chair, if not guilty, he'll be released. To begin with just one member of the jury thinks he's not guilty, and gradually after deliberating for hours, they all come to a final decision.
It really is something special when a play can absorb you and hold you captivated with just twelve men talking. Through the script you discover the huge backstory behind the boy on trial, you find out snippets of the jurors lives and how their own experiences influence their decision of whether the kid is guilty or not. It's raw and honest; you see the jurors who don't particularly care about the boy's life and just vote guilty to hurry up and get out of the court in time for a ball game, and then there's the sensitive guy (Martin Shaw), who points out that they're deciding on a life and death situation so should discuss it a little more.
The actors are just incredible, not just the headliners but the rest of the cast too. The play closes in March, so if you want to see it you don't have much time left. If you want to see it you can get tickets from lastminute.com, I just got the second price grand circle tickets, and I could still see 90% of the stage even though they were marked as restricted view seats!