Harper Lee’s classic novel of racist injustice in a small town in the American Deep South, as seen through the eyes of children, is brought to the stage in this bewitching production.
The book is right at the centre of the show as several members of the cast take turns in narrating by reading from it.
The narrators switch to playing supporting roles through the effective use of minimal costume and prop changes.
The feel of the play is very warm and low key, which heightens the drama around a court case involving a young black man accused of rape by a white woman.
Lawyer Atticus Finch (Daniel Betts) has to defend the young man, Tom Robinson, in a situation where he hasn’t got a hope of winning at a time when black people were treated as second-class.
Atticus’s gentle dignity and determination to do the right thing in any case gradually wins him the admiration of his children Scout and Jem and their friend Dill.
The children, beautifully played by Rose Boore, Billy Price and Milo Panni on press night, come to understand why Atticus says you can’t understand anyone “until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Despite the tragedy of Tom’s terrible end, they learn to see little signs signifying that change may be possible one day.