Elizabeth Newman’s first season as Artistic Director of the Bolton Octagon Theatre has kicked off in spectacular style, with a production of To Kill A Mockingbird opening the 2016/2017 season at the theatre.
Harper Lee’s poignant tale of racial prejudice during the 1930’s in a small Deep South town has touched so many over the years with To Kill A Mockingbird becoming a bestselling book worldwide, leading onto a powerful award winning film remake starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
With a stellar line up of stage and television actors, alongside two teams of child actors playing Scout, Jem and Dill from the Young Community Company, could the play invoke the same emotions as felt when reading the book or watching the film?
In one word… absolutely!
The performance was spellbinding and I have to admit to having goosepimps all the way through the production. Having forgotten how intimate the Bolton Octagon Theatre is, it was even more emotive being so close to the action and as an audience member almost felt part of the play.
Rob Edwards plays the part of Atticus Finch sublimely, with the swagger, determination and frustration one would expect from the character… but with even more passion! It would be easy to say his performance stole the show, but Jasmine De Goede was equally as formiddable as the young Scout.
Barbara Drennan playing Jean Louise Finch as the narrator had a way of stirring emotions that kept you riveted, with the set allowing her to walk around and really engage with the audience.
The very moving performance closed that night to rapturous applause and praise, with several audience members close to tears. If you get the chance to go, please do, you will not be disappointed in the slightest and the 2 and a half hour production will be one you remember for a long time!
A huge congratulations to all the cast, crew, production team and staff at the Octagon Theatre for hosting and performing such a fantastic, must see production that is a credit to all involved and for renewing my love of the theatre.
To Kill A Mockingbird will run until Saturday 15th October 2016 and tickets can be purchased directly from the Bolton Octagon Theatre website.