THEATRE REVIEW - To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird at The Lowry
To Kill a Mockingbird at The Lowry

PENNED by Harper Lee in 1961, her Pulitzer prize-winning play To Kill a Mockingbird is as vibrant and compelling today.

The book sells a million a year. That tells a story in itself.

Gracing the stage of the Lowry, “Mockingbird” is strong stuff, telling as it does the story of racial prejudice in a small town in America’s deep south.

At its heart are deep principles of the lawyer – who insists on doing right, whatever the cost.

The story tells of a black man who is accused of raping a young white woman. From the first, it’s possible to taste the bitter juice of prejudice.

As the action progresses there is the realisation that we, the audience, are the jury, and the second half of the play traces the absorbing trial of the patently innocent negro. Every moment is riveting.

With a stellar cast, the play – which has toured after playing in the open air in Regents Park last year.

The story of Mockingbird has truly stood the test of time and this production dares to be different with the actors also reading short passages from the book. It’s all done against a magnificent set and boy, does that deep south heat take its toll.

Superbly directed, the show is finishing its run at the Lowry, and playing the principled lawyer Atticus Finch, Daniel Betts is wonderfully understated, but massively impressive nonetheless.

The whole cast – including three children – deserve the highest of praise.

To Kill a Mockingbird plays until Saturday.