angry men

Legal arguments can have a violent side among the twelve good men and true . . . Pictures. Jack Merriman

Twelve Angry Men

Malvern Theatres


Succeeding a record-breaking West End season, *Reginald Rose’s atmospheric courtroom drama from 1954, Twelve Angry Men, is in session this week at Malvern Theatres until Saturday. 

The question on everyone’s lips ‘is there any reasonable doubt?’ Join the jury as a young boy’s life hangs in the balance and watch twelve strangers deliberate whether the verdict is guilty or not guilty? You decide.

Twelve Angry Men was originally brought to life as a television play before it was adapted for the stage and only three years after that, Hollywood actor Henry Fonda, celebrated for films such as My Darling Clementine and The Grapes of Wrath, was asked by United Artists to co-produce a movie-length version, and the black and white 1957 film directed by Sidney Lumet, appeared on the big screens and is still to this day regarded by many as one of the greatest films ever made.

Audiences can now experience the stage version in all its glory, directed by Christopher Haydon, and become transported next to the L-track in New York during the hottest day of the year as the jury members sweat it out and debate a teenager’s death sentence. How could one witness see through a passing train and identify a murderer? How could an old man shuffle from his bedroom to his front door in only 15 seconds? Do you always remember details of films you watch at the cinema? Let’s look only at the facts.

All twelve jurors were remarkable with their unique nuances; Juror 3, Tristan Gemmill, was a distraught father and businessman with strong opinions and stubborn with an explosive temper, Juror 8, Jason Merrells, an architect by trade and a protagonist, who questions the ‘guilty’ votes just because he doesn’t know and isn’t positive.


Jason Merrells as the outsider, the pivotal Juror 8

Then there is Juror 10, Gray O’Brien, who is a loud-mouthed bigot and pushy character who is used to getting his own way, Juror 7, Michael Greco, a wisecracking salesman who just wants to get to the ball game, Juror 12, Ben Nealon, is easily swayed as an indecisive advertising executive, Juror 6, Gary Webster, a painter but respectful in his demeanor.

There was the quieter Juror 4, Mark Heenehan who was unbelievably calm throughout, even his voice was calming, Juror 5, Samarge Hamilton, was from a violent slum and was a soft-spoken paramedic, Juror 9, Paul Beech, a wise elderly gentleman, Juror 11, Kenneth Jay, watchmaker immigrant, Juror 2, Paul Lavers, unpretentious bank clerk and foreman, Owen Oldroyd, tries his best to organise the rabble and break up any heated debates.

An emotional expedition behind the scenes of a courtroom that thankfully weathers the storm. “It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don’t really know what the truth is. I don’t suppose anybody will ever really know.”

Deliberate if there is any reasonable doubt this week with Twelve Angry Men at Malvern Theatres until Saturday March 9th. Tickets are available from the box office on 01684 892277 or online at

Emma Trimble


*Reginald Rose was a staff writer at CBS and wrote the original TV play after being on jury duty. That original can be seen here. The Internet Archive

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