To Kill a Mockingbird at the Barbican Centre

To Kill a Mockingbird London
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To Kill a Mockingbird is not only the first books from school I actually enjoyed (Thank you Mrs Reilly!) but it's also one of my favourite books. I read it every year but can only handle it once a year because I will end up an emotional train wreck. It's just a given.

When To Kill a Mockingbird launched at the Regents Park Theatre, I was gutted when we couldn't get tickets. It was so popular though that a new run was in order at the Barbican Centre and not only did we get tickets, we got tickets in the second row! All the win.

I'm not sure what you already know about To Kill a Mockingbird (although everyone should know) but it's simply a story of black and white in South America told through the eyes of a child.

The play itself is spectacular, rather than a conventional retelling in sense, the characters not only act out the story but they read from various publications of the book, keeping it as accurate is possible with very little changes which tend to annoy me in other plays and adaptations. A small cast and minimalist set makes everything seem more intimate and as though you have really been thrown into the story, rather than just watching it.



Harper Lee's classic was immortalised in film in 1962 with Gregory Peck playing the role of Atticus Finch, a role which would finally get him an Oscar. Atticus Finch is the father of Scout, our protagonist, and has been given the case of defending a black man in a trial against the accusations of a white man. It's pretty much doomed to begin with.

In the stage version, Atticus is played by Robert Sean Leonard (This excited Charlie, Distracted as you may know him as Wilson from House) and he was amazing. There is no other word to describe it. He brought the elements of torment and compassion through so well it was as though he was meant to be Atticus, to me anyway.

Scout was the perfect portrayal of childhood innocence especially in regards to race. The whole cast were perfect really. It was a tad confusing when one of the narrators spoke in a heavy northern accent and I was initially dubious, but they managed to flit between themselves as story tellers to actors so fluidly I was taken by surprise and thought that made the whole show even better.

Whether or not you're as big a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird as I am or not, I strongly recommend you see this show while it's here. Even as a piece of literature it's a real eye opener to racial division in a time not so far away. You will cry like a baby, I let myself go far too soon and couldn't stop so you will need to take tissues.


4 comments

  1. I love this book after reading it at high school and I bet the play is even more amazing!

    Sarah
    https://everydayconcepts.wordpress.com

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    1. It's my favourite book of all time ever and you're right about the play being just as amazing. You need to see it if you get a chance.

      AJ x

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  2. Its a book I have never read as we had "of mice and men" when we were at school. The play sounds great though, and WOW at second row.

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    1. It is without a doubt one of the best books ever written. If not THE book ever written... or on par with Wuthering Heights. Read it. Seriously.

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Your comments make me smile :-)