I was fortunate to see the great actor Richard Johnson play Atticus Finch in the play version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ when it came to Bath. Written by Christopher Sergel, the play worked best as a courtroom drama as this is the setting where the skill of Atticus Finch, as an attorney, is seen to its best advantage.
The scenes with Jem and Scout were less well realised but it would take very good casting to be able to live up to the book or the film. In any case, the drama is in the court. This is the place where the racism of the time and place was exposed yet stood intact. The outcome of the trial was never in doubt and the arguments expressed, although elegant to the ears of the liberal listener, could not overturn years of tradition entrenched by fear.
Interestingly, my memories of the play centre completely on Johnson as Atticus. I have little memory of the other actors or scenes which were dramatically expressed in book and film.
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is in my hinterland. What’s in yours?