Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Thursday, March 24, 2022

To Kill a Mockingbird @ Gielgud Theatre…

Last week Stuart and I went to see To Kill a Mockingbird, currently in previews, at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s glitzy West End.

It’s fab. Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel simply shines; brilliantly acted, cleverly staged, and (of course) with that great source material it’s a must see.

Published in 1960, the piece explores racial injustice in America and features one of the most iconic characters in literary history – small-town lawyer Atticus Finch.

Rafe Spall plays Atticus Finch pitch perfectly - flaws and all. Is Finch the pure hero we think he is? Things are not quite so black and white (sic). Sorkin cleverly undermines our hero’s motivation by giving a stronger voice to black maid Calpurnia (beautifully played by Pamela Nomvete) when she calls out his muttered white saviour comments. It makes the piece sing.

None of this takes away from the thrust of the play of course. The injustice is toe-curling and the bigotry is enraging.

Go see.

As an addendum I make no apologies for listing below all those involved. It is, after all, an ensemble piece: Also in the show are Harry Attwell (Mr Cunningham/Boo Radley), Amanda Boxer (Mrs Henry Dubose), Poppy Lee Friar (Mayella Ewell), John Hastings (Bailiff), Simon Hepworth (Mr Roscoe/Dr Reynolds), Laura Howard (Miss Stephanie/Dill's Mother), Lloyd Hutchinson (Link Deas), Gwyneth Keyworth (Scout Finch), Tom Mannion (Sheriff Heck Tate), David Moorst (Dill Harris), Jim Norton (Judge Taylor), Patrick O'Kane (Bob Ewell), Jude Owusu (Tom Robinson), Harry Redding (Jem Finch), David Sturzaker (Horace Gilmer) and Natasha Williams (Mrs Dubose's Maid). Helen Belbin, Laurence Belcher, Paul Birchard, Ryan Ellsworth, Rebecca Hayes, Danny Hetherington, Matthew Jure, Anna Munden and Itoya Osagiede making up the ensemble.

On the production side: Director Bartlett Sher's production features a creative team of Miriam Buether (set), Ann Roth (costume), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), Scott Lehrer (sound), Adam Guettel (original score), Kimberly Grigsby (music supervision) and Campbell Young Associates (hair and wigs). Also on the team are Serena Hill as casting director, Hazel Holder as voice and dialect coach, Titas Halder as associate director, Rasheka Christie-Carter as assistant director, Tavia Rivée Jefferson as cultural coordinator, and Candida Caldicot as musical director.

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