Friday, March 14, 2014

2 April - 12 Angry Men

Firstly, many many thanks to Margaret and Miriam for the delicious cakes that they provided for the interval: sadly I enjoyed finishing them off!  This does not help my diet resolutions ladies!

I think you all enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and hope that if ever you get the chance you will go to see the London production, which won 7 Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play.

Well, fortunately no-one left last month, but we were delighted to welcome Ina to our group and we hope that she will come again!

12 Angry Men

Many of you are familiar with the film, whereas to me it's the play that ATC did very recently!  And very well they did it too!  In fact the origins of this play is a TV teledrama in 1954: but it still seems to attract the right sort of attention today.

In 1957 the play was made into a film starring Henry Fonda.  Click here to see the original trailer, which is fascinating to watch just to see how much film making techniques have moved on in 50 years!

In 1964 the play opened in London, but it was not until 50 years later that it got its Broadway debut.

Meanwhile in 1997 another film was made, the most famous names this time being Jack Lemon and George C. Scott.

The story follows the trial of a black man for murder: the jury has to reach a unanimous life or death decision for this man based on reasonable doubt. Twelve personalities clash, persuade, argue and unite.  Throughout the play no names are used, and it might be interesting to briefly discuss why and what effect this has on the play and its audience.

I thought it might be interesting for you to get a clue as to the characters involved, and the following is lifted directly from Wikipedia - so apologies for the underlining which I can't get rid of.  For those of you who have seen the original film, I thought you'd enjoy seeing who the actors were.

1/Mr. Foreman
The jury foreman, somewhat preoccupied with his duties and never gives any reason for changing his vote; proves to be accommodating to others. An assistant high school football coach.
A meek and unpretentious bank worker who is at first dominated by others, but finds his voice later in the story.
The antagonist, a businessman and distraught father, opinionated, disrespectful, and stubborn with a temper.
A rational, unflappable, self-assured and analytical stock broker who is concerned only with the facts, and avoids any small talk.
A man who grew up in a violent slum, a Baltimore Orioles fan. A paramedic.
A house painter, tough but principled and respectful.
A salesman, sports fan, superficial and indifferent to the deliberations.
An architect, the first dissenter and protagonist. Identified as "Davis" in the closing scene.
A wise and observant elderly man. Identified as "McCardle" in the closing scene.
A garage owner; a pushy and loudmouthed bigot.
A European watchmaker and naturalized American citizen. Very polite and makes wordy contributions.
A wisecracking, indecisive advertising executive.

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