The classic Harper Lee novel comes to the stage.
It’s difficult to talk about Harper Lee’s novel about racial inequality, prejudice, human integrity and compassion without sounding trite. But that’s because it really is one of the greatest and most-read books ever written - over 30 million copies so far and not slowing down - and, unless you’re dead inside, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this literary masterpiece. Of course Harper Lee has been back in the news, her second novel about to be published. It has been a long wait for 'Go Set A Watchman'.
With such a fondness and weighty amount of respect for the novel mind, you might be worried that seeing a stage adaptation, if done badly, would diminish this remarkable story.
Thankfully, this production by the award-winning Regent’s Park Theatre has been heaped with praise since its London debut in 2013. Set in Depression-hit 1930s deep south America, Tom Robinson, a black man, is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. The trial and ensuing fallout is told from the viewpoint of 8-year-old Scout Finch, whose beloved father, Atticus, defended Tom in spite of the small town residents’ hostility towards him for doing so. Time Out London's own review described it as ‘riveting’ and that ‘its real triumph is in capturing the novel's warmth and childish wonder’.
Who can argue with that, eh?