To Kill A Mockingbird – review

“To Kill a Mockingbird is a fine piece of work that deserves to be seen. It’s funny, it’s emotional and it’s poignantly sad. The reason this story can transcend time in the way it does is that unfortunately, little has changed in regard to racial injustice and disparity from the 1930’s until now. Go see it. #BlackLivesMatter"
Gielgud Theatre
Review by: Nicole V Sylvester
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Published: Wednesday 06 April 2022, 3:04pm

I first read Harper Lee’s seminal work ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ when I was about 12-years-old. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and is considered an American classic for good reason.  Set in the 1930’s, To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of a rape case seen through the eyes of a child, Scout Finch.  Her widowed attorney father, Atticus, defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman.

This play is well cast and there are plenty of standout performances. Most notably for me, by Patrick Kane who Plays Bob Ewell, the father of the rape victim. His portrayal was almost painfully palpable, the racism and hatred spewing from his mouth uncomfortable but fascinating to watch.

The story had never left me as it was tragic and raw, and showcased justice -or lack of, in the Jim Crow era of the American South. I was excited to see how it translated on stage. Very well it turns out.  I remember the book being a rather sober tale and was delighted to see it not only narrated by Scout but also her brother Jem and see plenty of much-needed humour injected into it by the innocent and hilarious character of Dill, played by David Moorst.

The Summer plays out for the children with the ongoing court case, playing outside and their regular harassment of their strange and elusive neighbour, Boo Radley. This play is well cast and there are plenty of standout performances. Most notably for me, by Patrick Kane who Plays Bob Ewell, the father of the rape victim. His portrayal was almost painfully palpable, the racism and hatred spewing from his mouth uncomfortable but fascinating to watch.

To those sensitive to “The N Word” please beware, as this is peppered all too liberally throughout the play

Aaron Sorkin attempted to give the black characters more dimension and more voice in this version.  Though I’m not 100% sure he succeeded, the effort did not go unnoticed.  To those sensitive to “The N Word” please beware, as this is peppered all too liberally throughout the play. Obviously, to make it realistic, racial explicitly was necessary albeit excessive. I could feel my 15-year-old beside me, wince every other time it was mentioned, which was a lot.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a fine piece of work that deserves to be seen. It’s funny, it’s emotional and it’s poignantly sad. The reason this story can transcend time in the way it does is that unfortunately, little has changed in regard to racial injustice and disparity from the 1930’s until now. Go see it.  #BlackLivesMatter

NEED TO KNOW: To Kill A Mockingbird is at the Gielgud Theatre until 13 August 2022 | Watch our interview with Pamela Nomvete who plays Calpurnia on YouTube | See listing

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Five
I first read Harper Lee's seminal work 'To Kill a Mockingbird' when I was about 12-years-old. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and is considered an American classic for good reason.  Set in the 1930's, To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of a rape...to-kill-a-mockingbird-review