Performed in 2002
New York City. Long hot summer of 1954. A jury room in the Criminal Courts Building. A man is dead. A teenager is accused of murder. His future lies in the hands of 12 jurors.
It seems like an open and shut case. Everything points to the boy’s guilt. But one man in the jury feels there is room for doubt. Reginald Rose’s classic drama is a fierce and passionate examination of social justice and civil liberties.
Reginald Rose first penned The Twelve Angry Men in 1954 for CBS Television. This version, starring Robert Cummings, was broadcast live and won three Emmys. The production attracted the attention of Henry Fonda, who together with Rose produced the film version, which was directed by Sidney Lumet. The film version boasted a cast of now well-known faces, including Lee J Cobb, Jack Klugman, Robert Webber, EG Marshall, and Jack Warden, as well as Fonda himself. Although the film was not a great box office success, it was nominated for three Oscars, and Fonda later recalled it as one of his personal favourites.
Rose also adapted his screenplay for the stage, and the play was presented in London in 1964. One of the most notable recent productions was that directed by Harold Pinter at Bristol Old Vic in 1996.
The play takes place over a period of two hours during the long hot summer of 1954. The twelve jurors retire to deliberate the case of a young boy accused of killing his father. The verdict seems inevitable, yet one man feels that justice can only be served by discussing the case fully.
Set in real time, and in the single location of the hot jury room, the play reflects its television origins, yet provides the ideal arena for the twelve men to discuss, deliberate and argue.
TheatreFusion have always tried to present new works alongside classics, and 12 Angry Men is a true classic of 20th Century theatre. Our production avoids the temptation to update or relocate the play, retaining its origins to show a “snapshot” of social issues in the 1950’s – issues of social justice, prejudice and the strengths and weaknesses of the jury system which remain relevant today.
- Cumbernauld Theatre, 10-11 May at 7.45pm, £8 / £5, 01236 732887
- East Kilbride Arts Centre, 16-17 May at 8.00pm, £6 / £4, 01355 261000
- Gilmorehill G12, 9 University Avenue Glasgow, 24-25 May 7.30pm, £8 / £4, 0141 330 5522
By arrangement with Samuel French Limited.
Writer Reginald Rose | Directors / Set Design Thomas Gemmell, Abigail Gemmell | Production Manager Abigail Gemmell
Photography Alan Bryant www.alanbryantphotography.com
Programme and Web Design Thomas Gemmell
Foreman Peter Lamb | Juror 2 Graeme Kerr | Juror 3 Mark Coleman | Juror 4 George Docherty | Juror 5 Adam Docherty | Juror 6 Alan Bryant | Juror 7 Jack Hodes | Juror 8 Donald Munro | Juror 9 Andrew MacMichael | Juror 10 John McQuiston | Juror 11 Ian McLaren-Thomson | Juror 12 Douglas Clark | Guard Vance Cowan | Judge Ian Aldred
Cumbernauld News (5 May 2002): Brilliant… a great production… sends shivers rippling down the spine… real quality.
Audience: Really impressive… brilliant… your most impressive production so far…
ABOUT THE WRITER
“Reginald Rose was one of the outstanding television playwrights to emerge from the “Golden Age” of television drama anthology series.
The 1954-55 season included Rose’s most-known work, Twelve Angry Men. In addition to winning numerous awards and undergoing transformation into a feature film, Twelve Angry Men undoubtedly established Rose’s reputation almost immediately as a major writer of drama for television.
What distinguished Rose’s teleplays … was their direct preoccupation with social and political issues… Rose tackled controversial social issues head-on.
Rose was responsible in part for the creation of this new approach. This gritty realism that became known as the “slice of life” school of television drama was for a time the staple of the anthology shows and reshaped the look of both television and American cinema.
The Twelve Angry Men (CBS Television 1954)
Twelve Angry Men (MGM 1957, directed by Sidney Lumet)
Twelve Angry Men (play, London 1964)
Twelve Angry Men (Showtime/MGM Television, 1997, directed by William Friedkin, starring Jack Lemmon and George C Scott).
The Director’s Guild of America nominated Friedkin for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for Best Dramatic Special. This television version was also nominated for six Emmy awards.
MUSIC HEARD IN THIS PRODUCTION