Review of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Gielgud Theatre

The audience has been immersed in the production process to kill a robin, which features three narrators, Scout Finch (Gwyneth Keyworth), her brother Jim (Harry Redding), and their friend Dill Harris (David Moorst).Sometimes it feels like there’s as much exposition as there is drama, regularly addressing the audience directly to the show a jersey boy That feeling. Children tell us the salient parts of the storyline in order to focus on certain other parts. On the surface, this results in an uneven rhythm, but the audience is still on an engaging ride. As I learned on the sidelines of the press conference night, Harper Lee’s estate sued playwright Aaron Sorkin for including changes to the plot and characters that were not to their liking. Then-producer Scott Rudin had several controversies that eventually led him to leave the show.

Jude Owusu (Tom Robinson) – Photo by Mark Brenner.

to kill a robin is a household story: the novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962, a year later the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded three coveted Oscars for the film adaptation, with Gregory Peck winning Best Actor prize. Not everyone who knows the story in the UK is familiar with it, as the novel has been a staple of English literature school curricula for years. As far as this theatrical adaptation is concerned, it has an impact on the gallery in a way, and (much like the book) has its stereotypes. Bob Ewell (Patrick O’Kane) is a combative bully who thinks he can always and always find his way in confrontation, and Dill is a kind but shady guy who clearly Never lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Calpurnia (Pamela Nomvete), the Finch family’s housekeeper (though she’s much more than that), offers a perspective that even the open-minded and progressive Atticus (Rafe Spall) cannot fully grasp. Atticus’ philosophy of life is built on respect for everyone — “everyone” means absolutely everyone — when Jem finally gets his revenge on the ever-nasty Mrs. Henry Dubose (Amanda Boxer). The philosophy of life has been challenged to a certain extent. But it’s “Carl,” who, as Atticus puts it, really calls him out with his Pollyanna-esque positivity: Respect for the utterly shameful is itself disrespect for those who have been wronged.

This kind of insight makes the show more than just a courtroom drama with subplots about the lawyer’s family life. There’s a lot of humor too — Atticus isn’t the only one who can bring drama to court. The story is not told in chronological order, at least not all, and the scene (Miriam Buether) from the courthouse to Finch’s house and back is impressive. Not always comfortable to watch – Poppy Lee Friar’s Mayella Ewell was clearly traumatized by cross-examination as well as her personal circumstances, the highly liberal (if equally highly historically accurate) use of the N-word, and the extraordinary miscalculation despite the large number of Evidence shows Tom Robinson (Jude Owusu) is innocent.

It’s sad, of course, that while much has changed since 1934, the producers are keen to point out what hasn’t happened. It’s also not terribly subtle, emphasizing its point in a way that might be more suitable for Broadway audiences than West End audiences. Interestingly, the court prepared chairs for the jury, but the seats were never occupied. I thought it was ridiculous at first, but then I had a flashy moment on the Tube home page: The production treated the audience as a “jury” and invited the audience to make up their own minds based on the witness statements provided. Clever and imaginative production.

4 stars

Chris Omarvin’s comment

Set in Maycomb, Alabama in 1934, “To Kill a Mockingbird” offers some of American literature’s most indelible characters: attorney Atticus Finch, the unfortunate aggrieved Tom Robinson, Atticus’ daughter Scott, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker Carl Ponia and reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley. Over the past six years, this story, its characters and portraits of small-town America have helped and will continue to inspire conversation and change for every generation.

Harper Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of its publication.

Join Sher and the original Broadway creative team – Miriam Buether (set), Ann Roth (costume), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), Scott Lehrer (voice), Adam Guettel (original score), Kimberly Grigsby (music supervisor) and Campbell Young Associates (Hair & Wigs) – Serena Hill as Casting Director, Hazel Holder as Voice and Dialect Coach, Titas Halder as Associate Director, Rasheka Christie-Carter as Assistant Director, Tavia Rivee Jefferson as Cultural Coordinator, and Candida Caldicot as Music Director.

Harry Attwell as Mr. Cunningham/Boo Radley.
Amanda Boxer as Mrs. Henry Dubose.
Poppy Lee Friar as Mayella Ewell.
John Hastings as the bailiff.
Simon Hepworth as Mr. Rothko/Dr. Reynolds.
Laura Howard plays Miss Stephanie/Dill’s mother.
Lloyd Hutchinson as Link Deas.
Gwyneth Keyworth as Scout Finch.
Tom Mannion as Sheriff Tate.
David Morester as Dill Harris.
Pamela Nomvete as Calpurnia.
Jim Norton as Judge Taylor.
Patrick O’Kane as Bob Ewell.
Jude Owusu as Tom Robinson.
Harry Redding made his professional debut as Jem Finch.
Rafe Spall as Atticus Finch.
David Sturzaker as Horace Gilmer.
Natasha Williams plays Mrs. Dubose’s maid.

to kill a robin
Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6AR

buy tickets

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: