Venue: Kamani Auditorium
Date: 31 July, 2016
Aadyam, the theatre initiative by Aditya Birla Group has been bringing about a host of plays for Delhi audience. Delhi’s theatre culture has been evolving during the last couple of years. Adyaam’s ventures, featuring actors from films and television based out of Bombay, bring forth professional productions to Delhi. This genre of mature theatre is an interesting exposure to Delhi theatre lovers.
We have already reviewed “Ladies Sangeet” from this series. The latest offering by Adyaam is “12 Angry Jurors”, an adaptation of the popular work “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose. This play has been adapted as movies and plays in various languages. As is widely known, this play features a group of twelve jurors who are debating the fate of a young man convicted of killing his father. Henry Fonda had played the first dissenter from the unanimous verdict of guilty in the 50s Hollywood film based on this story. In the Hindi version “Ek Ruka Hua Faisla”, K K Raina assayed this role.
Adyaam’s production has been directed by Nadir Khan and has Rajit Kapoor playing the first dissenter Juror No. 8. The other jurors include Sohrab Ardeshir, Deven Khote etc. While the script is decidedly Indian, this does not affect the original plot or theme in any manner. In fact, the various jurors have their own points of views that are relatable and we did not feel that the story was imported from any other jurisdiction. Moreover, given that the jury trial has been abolished in India, the play acquainted us with a system that we may have only heard of.
The high point of the production was definitely its capacity to engage the audience. Even though the climax was no surprise to us, we watched every minute of the play with rapt attention.
We must say, some of the dramatic scenes, such as the scene where Rajit Kapoor excites a juror so as to come to blows, or the change of heart of the last juror, needed more punch. But the taut screenplay compensated for any lapses. Further, the use of recorded visuals of a window to depict the change in weather was an interesting addition to the otherwise conventional production.
Overall, this was a very interesting take on the original work and we look forward to the next theatre initiative by Aadyam.