REVIEW: To Kill A Mockingbird @ Bolton Octagon

optimized-090816boltonoctagontokillamockingbirdproductionphoto185Harper Lee’s timeless tale exploring justice, courage, racism and class comes to Bolton Octagon this week.

Bringing this iconic classic novel to the stage is a challenge, but it is one which director Elizabeth Newman has risen to superbly – making every possible use of the auditorium drawing the audience into the lives of the townsfolk of Maycomb and the intense heat of the courtroom confrontation.

To Kill a Mockingbird, based partly on Lee’s own recollections of her upbringing in Alabama USA, retells, through the childhood memories of Jean Louise Finch (Scout), the story of her father Atticus’ defence of a black man wrongly charged with rape.

optimized-090816boltonoctagontokillamockingbirdproductionphoto236Barbara Drennan gives a good performance providing the linking narration as grown up Scout looking back on those dramatic events. However, it is the children – Jasmine De Goede (Scout), Che Tligui (Jem) and Adam Crompton (Dil) – who steal the show. None of them put a foot wrong in three vital roles in the production.

But this is one of those shows where is it is difficult to single out performances for special praise. If pushed I would have to say Atticus Finch is brilliantly realised by Rob Edwards and Leila Mimmack is excellent as the tragic Mayella Ewell.

This is well worth the trip to Bolton. Runs till October 15

Dave Toomer





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