REVIEW: Jury room drama guilty of being unmissable

Twelve Angry Men at Leeds Grand Theatre.
Twelve Angry Men at Leeds Grand Theatre.
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Twelve men with one decision to make. One they come to all too quickly and all too easily, considering it quite literally means life or death for a teenage boy...

Did the 16-year-old brutally stab his father to death in their New York apartment or has he been the victim of unreliable evidence from two possibly confused witnesses? Eleven of the 12 men chosen to decide his fate on the jury have no doubt - guilty. Just one refuses to condemn the teenager to the electric chair until every last shred of evidence has been pulled apart and scrutinised.

This national tour of the stage version of the classic 1950s movie leaves you gripped, regardless of whether or not you know the outcome.

Oscar nominated Shirley Valentine star and stage legend Tom Conti leads a terrific ensemble cast as the dogged and determined Juror 8 who through calm reasoning and intelligent argument slowly begins to bring his fellow jurors to doubt their previously unshakeable belief in the boy’s guilt.

Andrew Lancel, familar to TV viewers as Coronation Street’s villainous Frank Foster, gives an electrifying performance as Juror 3, whose relationship with his own son clouds his ability to make a clear judgement on someone else’s.

It really is riveting stuff - but with such an astonishing cast it could not fail to deliver.

My verdict? Totally unmissable.

* Until Saturday, April 11. Go to www.leedsgrandtheatre.com or call 0844 848 2700.