Notting Hill’s Rhys Ifan will star in a new adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird at the Gielgud theatre, when the show transfers to London in May 2020. Ifans, who was previously seen in On Bear Ridge at the Royal Court, will take the lead role of Atticus Finch in Lee’s famous play. The show’s transfer to London follows a successful year long run on Broadway, with Hollywood star Jeff Daniels in the lead role.
To Kill A Mockingbird follows the story of small town lawyer Finch, as he takes the case of a black man wrongly accused of rape. The novel caused a storm when it was first released in America in 1960, forcing the nation to confront the lingering spectre of racism and catapulting its author, Harper Lee to worldwide fame.
The story has been adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin. The writer, best known for his work on the Emmy Award winning drama the West Wing, faced a legal battle to bring his version of the story to the stage. Following a complaint by the estate of Harper Lee claiming that Sorkin’s characters diverged too far from Lee’s originals, it looked like the matter would have to be settled in court. Fortunately for all, however, the two parties came to a settlement and Sorkin’s adaptation of the novel was able to go ahead.
2020 will represent an important milestone for Lee’s famous novel, with the year marking the 60th anniversary of the book’s publication. In that time To Kill A Mocking Bird has amassed a quite phenomenal 45 million copies worldwide.
This new production is directed by acclaimed director Bartlett Sher, whose previous work includes Oslo and The King and I.
Previews of To Kill A Mockingbird will begin on the 21st of May 2020, with the show officially opening on the 11th June 2020.
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