Tuesday, 10 March 2015

To Kill A Mocking Bird - Regent’s Park Theatre - At Theatre Royal, Newcastle [10th March 2015]

[2015.03.10] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

Though the beginning of 2015 has brought controversy with the soon-to-be-released sequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, with its theme’s of racial tension and inequality, remains an unblemishable act of bravery, and as vital an allegory today as when it was first published in 1960.

After two sold-out seasons in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Christopher Sergel’s award-winning stage adaptation, brought to life through Timothy Sheader’s direction, comes to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in April. The small Southern town of Maycomb is expertly drawn through Oliver Fenwick’s carefully constructed dusty stage-set, which radically changes mood and shape with the lighting.

Not only will this play explore the possibility of empathy through the lives and feelings of these characters in Alabama, but as the second-half moves the action into the courtroom, it will raise the temperature of your blood too.

Through her empathetic eyes and ears, Harper Lee drew a story which looks at the iceberg beneath the water, and as recent news events show a tragic repetition of prejudice and fear, a reacquaintance with Atticus Finch’s confrontational spirit cannot help but energise a hope in all who witness.

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