Harper Lee’s  To Kill a Mockingbird
Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, Directed by Elizabeth Newman

The Octagon Theatre’s exciting 2016-17 season begins with Harper Lee’s poignant and powerful To Kill a Mockingbird. Marking Elizabeth Newman’s first full season as Artistic Director at the Octagon, To Kill a Mockingbird captures the delight and mysteries of childhood as well as exploring the fight for justice.

Following the struggle of lawyer Atticus Finch as he strives to defend a wrongly accused black man in the 1930’s Deep South, To Kill a Mockingbird is told through the innocent eyes of his fiery daughter, Scout. We witness how the small town where she lives is ravaged by racial prejudice, and how respect and courage are essential to life.

With a superb cast of celebrated stage and television actors, this production also includes two teams of three young actors in the roles of Scout, Jem, and Dill. The two teams are each made up of two boys and one girl.

In one of the most iconic roles of the play, we welcome back Marc Small (The Family Way, Robin Hood, Tull, Of Mice and Men, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Richard II, Coriolanus, Almeida; The I.T Crowd) as Tom Robinson. In another leading role, Rob Edwards (Noises Off, Separation, Duet for One, Habeas Corpus, Secret Thoughts, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Octagon Theatre Bolton; The Lion King, Disney Theatrics West End) returns as intelligent lawyer and father Atticus Finch.

Other Octagon favourites who are returning for this production include John Branwell (The Family Way, Noises Off, A View from the Bridge, Love Story, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Sweeney Todd,Royal Exchange/West Yorkshire Playhouse) as Judge John Taylor, Colin Connor (The Family Way, Noises Off, A View from the Bridge, Early One Morning, Tull, The Demolition Man, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Mr Gilmer, and Harry Long (The Family Way, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Bob Ewell.Christian Edwards also returns as the mysterious Boo Radley after his recent role as Cosmo inSingin’ in the Rain.

Joining us for the first time are Trevor Michael Georges (The Magna Carter Plays, Salisbury Playhouse; The Chronicles of Kalki, The Edge of Our Bodies, The Gate Theatre) who will be playing Rev Sykes, and Leila Mimmack (Homefires, ITV; Silent Witness, BBC) who will be playing the role of Mayella.

Completing the cast are Vicky Binns (Alfie, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Singin’ in the Rain, National Tour 2014; Coronation Street, Von Trapped, Emmerdale) as Maudie Atkinson; Barbara Drennan(The Family Way, Noises Off, A View from the Bridge, Love Story, Octagon Theatre Bolton;Sweeney Todd, Royal Exchange/West Yorkshire Playhouse) as Jean Louise Finch; Margot Leicester (Charles II, Wyndhams Theatre; Women Centre Stage, National Theatre; Long Days Journey into Night, Habeas Corpus, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, All My Sons, Ghosts, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Mrs Dubose and Stephanie Crawford; Remmie Milner (#ChipShoptheMusical,Octagon Theatre Bolton/Emma Hill Writes) as Helen Robinson; Philip Starnier (Singin’ in the Rain,Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Heck Tate; and Flo Wilson (Bag Lady, Hidden Gem Productions, 2013-15;  Love on the Dole, A Streetcar Named Desire, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Calpurnia.

Director Elizabeth Newman commented on the production: “I have been eager to direct To Kill a Mockingbird for a long time. Like so many people, when I first encountered the story it had a profound impact on my life and, although written decades ago, I believe that it is as relevant now as when it was first written. It continues to challenge and shape our view of the world and inspires us to have the courage to be the people that we want to be. Harper Lee manages to communicate the importance of empathy and compassion, she proposes that we must protect these vital parts of our humanity at all cost, and Christopher Sergel’s adaptation loses none of the impact of the story.

“Theatre is at its best when it makes us reflect on our world and our role within it. We are currently in a chapter of massive change, both as a nation and global community. During this important moment in history, when we are searching for a way forward, it feels vital that we reconnect with the Finch family as they search for a way forward in Maycomb. We have the brilliant opportunity now to bring this poignant story to life right here in Bolton with an amazing cast. “

Performed in our main auditorium, To Kill a Mockingbird also sees the return of award-winning designer Amanda Stoodley, who has worked on many Octagon Theatre productions includingPrivate Lives, Robin Hood and Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!

To Kill a Mockingbird is playing from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 15 October 2016.

Tickets are prices range from £27 – £11 and can be booked at our Box Office counter, by calling 01204 520661, or online www.octagonbolton.co.uk.

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