by Paula Citron.
Twelve Angry Men
Roundabout Theatre Company (New York)
Written by Reginald Rose
Directed by Scott Ellis
Starring Richard Thomas, Julian Gamble and Kevin Dobson
At the Princess of Wales Theatre until Feb. 10.
Reginald Rose’s 1954 play and 1957 movie Twelve Angry Men hark back to more innocent times. In this cynical age, the struggle of one juror, played by Richard Thomas, to convince his 11 fellows not to rush to judgement, in a way, seems like a fairytale. Nonetheless, the audience was clearly swept up in the utopian sentiment and applauded loudly when the good guys made a point.
This production by New York’s prestigious Roundabout Theatre Company has class written all over it. Director Scott Ellis has crafted such realistic and naturalistic behaviour that every moment rings true.
Thomas’ fiercest opponents are Jurors Three and Ten. Julian Gamble does a suburb job as the bitter father who sees his son in the teenage accused, while Kevin Dobson is perfect as the racist. Thomas is the epitome of moderation while, Alan Mandell steals the show as the wise old man.
Twelve Angry Men continues at the Princess of Wales Theatre until Feb. 10.