Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill A Mockingbird opened up 2013’s Open Air Theatre series, bringing the fictional Alabama “tired old town” of Maycomb to the lawns of London’s Regent’s Park. With the outdoor feel of the book, it transferred well to the parkland stage of the theatre in the same way that Lord of the Flies did in 2011.
The production’s success in 2013 has meant that it has also been picked up for a second year to be a part of the 2014 Open Air Theatre season too, beginning on the 28 August. Visit our 2014 calendar details page to find out more at – tuppencemagazine.co.uk/open-air-theatre-2014/.
Performances in the first year in the Park started on the 16th May 2013 and ran through until the 15th June 2013. The production had been adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, who first started writing his play of the book in the 70s, but it wasn’t until 1991 that it premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, USA. Bringing one of America’s most influential literary works to life on stage was no mean feat, which is possibly why it took so long to finalise the adaptation, and with the 2014 extension is will shortly be getting another airing out in the open of Regents Park.
The story centres around 6 year-old Scout Finch who lives in Maycomb with her older brother Jem and father Atticus. Friendship, family, morality, prejudice, racism and law all combine under the Alabama sun to create one of the greatest novels of all time and what went on to be one of the great production of the summer in 2013. With another production planned in 2014, it’s still possible to see the story come to life on the outdoor stage.
Tickets for the Open Air Theatre production of To Kill A Mockingbird ranged from £25 to £55 for seats, but if you wanted to save a little cash, you could have opted for the preview shows between the 15th and the 21st may 2013 with ticket prices between £20 and £53. The full opening night took place on the 22nd May.
Show times Monday to Saturday were 7:45pm with a 2:15pm matinee every Saturday and Wednesday from the 25th May.
Artistic Director for the production was Tomothy Sheader, who oversaw 2011’s Open Air Theatre production of Lord of the Flies and will be taking up the same role for the 2014 production. Designer Jon Bauser and composer Phil King were also be a big part of turning Regents Park into the sweltering heat and weight of Harper Lee’s Deep South masterpiece.
The cast in 2013 comprised of Lucy Hutchinson (Prometheus, Psychoville) as Scout, Gus Barry as Jem, Harry Bennet as their summer friend Dill, and Robert Shaun Leonard (Dead Poets Society, House) as Atticus. The same cast have also been confirmed for the 2014 performances too, along with the recently announced To Kill A Mockingbird 2014 / 2015 UK tour.