The bitter chill of the cold February evening was quickly forgotten amidst the sweltering and oppressive furnace that is Christopher Haydon’s take on Twelve Angry Men.
Following a well received West End run this electrifying take on Reginald Rose’s classic courtroom thriller (starring Olivier award winner Tom Conti) brings with it a little of the dynamism of the original television play later adapted into the hit 1957 movie.
A jury has the life of a young man accused of murdering his father on its hands and what at first appears to be first an open and shut case quickly descends into doubt and recrimination where prejudice rears its ugly head.
The dialogue is snappy and flows wonderfully, quickly ratcheting up the tension to the point where you would be forgiven for wondering if another murder is on the cards.
It is a credit to the cast that each made a lasting impression, though Tom Conti undeniably steals the show with his affable yet iron willed take on Juror Number 8, effectively and thrillingly driving the rapid pace of the show to its nail-biting conclusion.
Twelve Angry Men is playing at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until Saturday, February 14. See http://www.belgrade.co.uk/ for details.