In early 2020, a friend invited me to join her in seeing the new stage adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. We booked tickets for June 2020.
Then came the global pandemic.
We were then offered seats for June 2021.
And then finally, for March 2022.
Which is why my friend and I found ourselves masked up at the Gielgud Theatre on a Saturday afternoon in late March.
The cast, led by Rafe Spall as Atticus Finch, was superb, particularly Gywneth Keyworth as Scout. Adapted by the great Aaron Sorkin, the play is funnier than you might expect and there are a few subtle references to The West Wing (What’s next?) There are moments where the dialogue is offensive, as you might expect, and I wondered how the actors felt having to say those lines.
Both my friend and I found that we were so emotional at the end, we were unable to articulate how we felt. (The last time I felt like that in a theatre, was after seeing Come From Away.)
In relation to being in a theatre during a pandemic, we were unsettled to discover that the majority of the audience was not wearing a mask, despite the ushers holding up signs requesting that masks be worn. We arrived at the theatre just 10 minutes before curtain up, did not go in to the bar or use the facilities. It was Theatre Going 2.0.
To Kill a Mockingbird was the perfect production to entice me back into the West End. It’s running at the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue until the middle of August.