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The 'Twelve Angry Jurors' in Dubai

  |  May 7, 2013

 

It is a tale often described as culturally and historically significant, and this weekend Dubai-based non-profit community theatre group Backstage Productions, is bringing the story of ‘12 Angry Men’ based on the original play by American writer Reginald Rose, to the emirates.

Featuring an all UAE-based cast and creative team, the play will begin 9-11 May at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. The original story follows 12 male jurors as they decide the fate of a teenage boy charged with allegedly stabbing his father to death.

Backstage Productions has changed the title to ‘12 Angry Jurors’ because the cast is mixed gender.

The play was first broadcast on television in 1954 and adapted for the stage in 1955, before being produced as a movie in 1957 starring Martin Balsam, Henry Fonda and Jack Klugman. The film received Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and for Best Director.

The UAE cast of '12 Angry Jurors' during rehearsal. Courtesy: Backstage Productions

In 2007, the Library of Congress added the film to the National Film Registry, which singles out films deemed ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically‘ significant to be preserved.

The story has remained timeless because it delves deep into the human psychology, says the director of the upcoming production, Rashmi Kotriwala.

“Today, we are still studying human behaviour, which is one of the reasons the story has remained relevant and universal,” says Kotriwala, from India. “When we held the auditions a few months ago, we had a lot of interest from females so we decided to create a mixed cast. This is a play where the actors are onstage the whole time, so the objective was to find a team who could be in sync.”

One of the main elements adding to the uniqueness of the story, is that each character comes with a different mindset and life experiences, so when they are brought together by one common goal, this is when the real personalities and prejudice comes out.

“Each juror has an opinion based on their own experience in life. It’s a real drama with very emotional moments,” she says. “When the audience leaves, they will also question how objective they are in their own lives.”

Tickets cost Dh100 and are available at through Time Out Tickets, Ductac Box Office or tickets@backstagedubai.com