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To Kill A Mockingbird UK Tour - Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Fresh new version of timeless Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
Iconic novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a well-loved classic, so it's no surprise that this new production has been attracting a lot of attention, especially after it picked up a top award following a run in London's West End.

The play is currently touring the UK and I saw it early on at Malvern Theatres, ahead of its visit to Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre in November. It then continues on to cities including Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Manchester and Bath before returning to London at The Barbican theatre.

To Kill A Mockingbird, New Alexandra Theatre, Uk Tour
impressive child actors star in To Kill A Mockingbird

It opens with a sparse stage - a corrugated iron backdrop, a tyre hanging from a tree and no actors, but that quickly changes as they move from their seats among the audience to the stage, each reading this Harper Lee novel that so many of us have experienced through school.

When their character is not in the plot, the actors sit around the edge of the stage engrossed in dog-earred copies of the novel, as though the action is being created by the words on the page going through their minds.

It's a clever touch to make each actor in this production also a reader of the book (like most members of the audience will have been at some point in their life). Just one of the effects that helped clinch it the Best Play Revival title at the WhatsOnStage Awards 2014.

To Kill A Mockingbird, Uk Tour, Birmingham, new Alexandra theatre
Emotive scenes on a sparse stage.

The story follows a hotbed of bigotry and honour in the deep south of 1930's America through the innocent eyes of siblings Scout and her brother Jem. It's a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that still sells nearly one million copies a year to this day.

As the children of honourable lawyer Atticus Finch, they encounter racial prejudice and injustice in their small town and what it means to stand by your principles, even when everything stands against you.

Learning to understand their father, their scary neighbour Boo Radley and why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird, it's a seamless story that packs a powerful punch on morality with tense courtroom drama and endearing child adventures along the way.

to kill a mockingbird uk tour, Birmingham, new Alexandra theatre
Endearing child adventures in To Kill A Mockingbird

This fresh new production brilliantly toes the line between adding something new but also keeping very true to the mesmerising story, as well as the award-winning film starring Gregory Peck.

All the cast is in fine form but what makes this production so superb is the talented young actors, who are key to the whole performance.
Three children share the lead roles but I saw Rosie Boore as Scout, Billy Price as Jem and Milo Panni as Dill, who were all exceptional, especially at maintaining their southern drawls.

It's a worthy adaptation of a well-loved novel, and like the book, it will leave you emotional yet also inspired.

Rating: 9/10

To Kill A Mockingbird

Tickets cost from 11.90 - 40.40 from the ATG Theatre website. or the tour website.

Nov 25 - 29 - New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham
0844 871 3011

Jan 12 - 17 - Bath Theatre Royal
01225 448844

Jan 19 - 24 - Chichester Festival Theatre
01243 781312

Jan 26 - 31 - Sheffield Lyceum
0114 249 6000

Feb 3-7 - Theatre Royal Glasgow
0844 871 7647

Feb 9 - 14 - Edinburgh King's Theatre
0131 529 6000

Feb16 - 21 - Aberdeen His Majesty's Theatre
01224 641122

Feb 23 - 28 - Nottingham Theatre Royal
0115 989 5555

March 3 - 7 - Dartford Orchard Theatre
01322 220000

March 10 - 14 - Milton Keynes Theatre
0844 871 7652

March 17 - 21 - Southampton Mayflower
01280 711811

March 24 - April 4 - Leeds West Yorkshire Playhouse
0113 213 7700

April 13 - 18 - Plymouth Theatre Royal
01752 267222

April 20 - 25 - Newcastle Theatre Royal
08448 11 21 21

April 27 - May 2 - Cheltenham Everyman
01242 572573

May 12 - 16 - Richmond Theatre
0844 871 7651

May 19 - 23 - The Lowry, Salford, near Manchester
0843 208 6000

June 24 - July 25 - London Barbican Theatre
020 7638 8891


Scout - Jemima Bennett, Rosie Boore, Ava Potter
Jem - Harry Bennett, Billy Price, Arthur Franks
Dill - Leo Heller, Milo Panni, Connor Brundish
Atticus Finch - Daniel Betts
Boo Radley - Christopher Akrill
Reverend Sykes - Geoff Aymer
Mayella Ewell - Victoria Bewick
Nathan Radley/Mr Gilmer - David Carlyle
Maudie Atkinson - Natalie Grady
Heck Tate - Jamie Kenna
Link Deas - Phil King
Calpurnia - Susan Lawson-Reynolds
Tom Robinson - Zackary Momoh
Bob Ewell - Ryan Pope
Walter Cunningham/Judge Taylor - Christopher Saul
Stephanie Crawford/Mrs Dubose - Connie Walker
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Why? Timeless story of morality
When: Until July 2015
Phone: Various -see list
Where: Various - Birmingham, Manchester, London and more
Cost: From 11.90
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