Stellar cast for courtroom drama

Action from Twelve Angry men. Picture by Pamela Raith
Action from Twelve Angry men. Picture by Pamela Raith

The gripping courtroom drama that’s captivated the West End – Twelve Angry Men, starring Tom Conti – starts its six-night run at Newcastle Theatre Royal tomorrow.

Lauded as one of the greatest must-see movies of all time, Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men originated as a television play and has been successfully adapted for film, radio and stage. The 1957 three-time Academy Award-nominated film version starred and was produced by Henry Fonda.

Tom Conti

Tom Conti

The story follows 12 jurors who have murder on their minds and a life in their hands as they decide the fate of a young delinquent accused of killing his father. But what appears to be an open-and-shut case soon becomes a dilemma for the 12, as their prejudices and preconceived ideas about the accused, the trial and each other turn the tables every which way, until the nail-biting climax.

The production proved a huge hit in London where it had a record-breaking run, playing to sold-out houses and receiving multiple five-star reviews, being hailed as the ‘classiest, most intelligent drama in the West End’ (Daily Express).

Olivier Award winner, Tony Award winner and Oscar nominee Tom Conti returns as Juror Number 8, the role made famous by Henry Fonda. Tom is one of the most respected and celebrated actors of his generation – unforgettable as the leading man in hit films such as Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Shirley Valentine.

Tom will be joined by six of the original West End cast – Robert Duncan, best known for his role as the as jargon-spouting chief executive Gus Hedges in Drop The Dead Donkey; Andrew Frame, who starred as PC Hargreaves in Eastenders; David Calvitto, whose many theatre credits include These Shining Lives and The Odd Couple; Mark Carter, whose TV credits include Hollyoaks, Utopia and The Knock; and Sean Power, who starred in ITV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Fright Night 2. Jon Carver, who has had a recurring role in Doctors, returns to play the guard.

Taking a seat for the tour will be new jury member Andrew Lancel, best known for playing the villainous businessman Frank Foster in Coronation Street. Forming the rest of the jury will be Denis Lill, who starred in The Royal and Only Fools And Horses; Paul Beech, whose theatre credits include King Lear and A Tale of Two Cities; Alexander Forsyth, who has starred in stage productions of Porcelain and It Never Ends; Edward Halsted, who starred in Holby City and Jonathan Creek; and Gareth David-Lloyd, who is best known for his role as Ianto Jones in the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.

This production is directed by Christopher Haydon, artistic director of the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.

Twelve Angry Men is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from tomorrow to Saturday. Tickets are available from £14.50 (save 50p per ticket by booking online) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or www.theatreroyal.co.uk

The Gazette will be there tomorrow night. Read our review online on Tuesday.