NEW DELHI: Arrogance, spite and rancour spark off like faulty electric circuits in the room where 12 jurors are deliberating on the life of a teenager being prosecuted for the murder of his mother. The place reeks of hostility that comes flying in the way of an impartial scrutiny. However, the jurors must get past the cacophony and reach a fair conclusion. The Angry 12 is a brave and distinctive adaptation of American film writer, Reginald Rose’s 12 Angry Men, the classic story that originally has 12 men jurors discussing the grave matter. In this one, you have three women playing crucial parts.
The story is basking in a fresh perspective that feminine energy has lent to it. The narrative has come alive to a gamut of robust emotions, humour and sarcasm. The Angry 12 is a distinctive and extremely individualistic portrayal. Every aspect of the performance has been given close attention to for three months before the play was readied for staged. Every evening, the corridors of Akshara Theatre would come alive to the euphoria of acting and learning. All actors received specialised training in diction, expression, improvisation and memory.
The woman behind it all is Jalabala Vaidya, India’s imminent theatre actor and director. Sitting on the first floor in her living room that overlooks sprawling lush lawns, we talk to her about the show. She sits among a treasure-trove of family photos, many of them being of her late husband, Gopal Sharman. It seems like she still gets her energy from him.
She smiles as she takes her seat. Her little cat sits right next to her on the table as she begins to talk about the tempestuous jurors in the play. “When we changed the gender in the play, a lot changed, specially the emotional responses. The three women come from a starkly different place than the male jurors in our theatre’s production 12 Angry Men,” says Vaidya, adding, “In this, you have three different types of women—a strong and dominating mother in juror 3, a flighty and vain women in juror 7 and a more balanced one in juror 8.”
Divided into three acts, the first one is a gentle build up to the second were stakes go flying uncontrollably high. Anger and pique reaches its zenith, while preconceptions, malevolence and irritability makes decision-making difficult. Juxtaposed to this extremity, one sees the gentleness and idealism of jurors 9 and 11 respectively. Thrown into this dynamic storytelling are other fine actors who bestow their characteristic behaviourism to the play, making The Angry 12 a special adventure. So buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Date: July 8
Time: 8 pm
Venue: Akshara Theatre, 11B, Baba Kharak Singh Marg (next to RML Hospital Gate 5)
Tickets: Available for rs 250 onbookmyshow, insider.in, paytm.com and eventshigh.com