Confident and Mature
One of the best loved novels of the 20th century, To Kill A Mockingbird, is brought to life in a stage production by Regent’s Park Theatre and came to Southampton’s Mayflower last week.
Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, the production emphasises the importance of storytelling, drawing on traditions of oral narratives inspired by the habits of previous generations. In Sergel’s adaptation, members of the cast, dressed in modern clothing in a range of neutral tones, took it in turns to read aloud from sections of the text to begin the performance. Readings from the text were interspersed with the play itself, helping to guide the audience through the story. In addition to structuring the events onstage, I was struck by the amount of different texts used. Each of the cast members had a different edition of the classic novel, suggesting both its enduring popularity and exploration of perennial themes.
Ava Potter makes her professional theatre debut as the confident and mature Scout and must be congratulated, along with Arthur Franks as Dill and Connor Brundish as Jem, for her performance. Each of the three actors blended childlike playfulness and curiosity with maturity as they came face to face with injustice and racial hatred within their own community. The performance of Daniel Betts as Atticus Finch must also be highlighted He gave warmth to the role of Atticus and illustrated to his onstage children the importance of fighting for the truth in the face of adversity.
A truly exceptional performance from the Regent’s Park Theatre company showing the importance of community and friendship in the fight against injustice.
Tickets for To Kill a Mockingbird can be bought here.