by Paula Citron
Christopher Sergel’s dramatization of Harper Lee’s beloved 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird is clearly the runaway hit of the Stratford early openings. I personally was awash in sentiment throughout the whole play – and yes, I did shed several tears. Talk about touching the heartstrings!
Sergel has cleverly created a narrator in the older Jean Louise – the grown-up Scout. Michelle Giroux draws a lovely, if mannered, portrayal of a woman remembering a very significant year of her life. The young actors who play the children are astonishing. Abigail Winter-Culliford as Scout, Thomas Murray as Jem and Spencer Walker as Dill hold their own against the best of Stratford.
The magnificent Peter Donaldson was born to play Atticus Finch. Dion Johnstone as the accused black man Tom Robinson is also very strong. In fact, there is not a weak link in the cast. This is a run don’t walk.
To Kill a Mockingbird continues until Oct. 27.
From the Stratford Festival’s Avon Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.