Aaron Sorkin’s new play adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird hit the West End in March this year and will continue to be performed at the Gielgud Theatre, and has tickets available into next year. This renowned production incorporates a perfectly produced cast of thirty, directed by Bartlett Sher. I was lucky enough to see English actor Rafe Spall portray the protagonist Atticus Finch, earlier in August, whose role has also been depicted by Richard Coyle and will be played by Stranger Things star Matthew Modine in November. 


Harper Lee’s novel of racial injustice and the loss of youthful innocence has sold more than 45 million copies across the world. Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird immediately became a great success. This American classic, set in Alabama in 1934, focuses on the question of what is right and wrong, while differentiating between moral and legal obedience.  The titular quote alone: “Shoot all the blue jays you want [..] but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” highlights this dominant message. The poignant novel has provided some of literature’s most enduring characters: Atticus Finch, a fictional embodiment of racial heroism and his children Scout and Jem. The misunderstood Arthur “Boo” Radley represents both the dangers that children face today, and also the importance of empathy. In 2017, during his farewell address, Barack Obama stated: “Each of us needs to try to heed the advice of a great character in American fiction: Atticus Finch, who said that you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”


On 26th February 2020, the admirable cast of To Kill a Mockingbird performed in Madison Square Garden, New York City, to 18,000 school children; becoming the largest single performance in the history of world theatre, staging a family-friendly adaptation educating the American youth, while comforting them with its warmth and humour. Prior to its close on Broadway in March 2020, this production had not performed to a single empty seat. 


I am so fortunate to have watched this perfectly created production, educating me further on the shocking history of racial injustice in America, and bringing my favourite read to life. With its attention to original detail, whether it be through the costumes or the set itself, this play flawlessly illustrates one of the most touching novels in the history of literature, and is a portrayal that should be seen by all. 


    Please be advised that this performance does contain racially explicit language, themes and content, and references to sexual abuse and violence, and is, therefore, recommended for ages 12+.