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Christopher Sergel's dramatization of Harper Lee's

To Kill A Mockingbird

May 3rd - November 3rdFestival TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 10 Critics
  • top 91% of shows in the 2018 season
10 Reviews
Comments

Stratford Festival Reviews - Robert Cushman

Mockingbird and Long Day's Journey

This review includes two productions To Kill a Mockingbird: “Nigel Shawn Williams makes an impressive debut as a Stratford director…” and Long Day’s Journey Into Night: “Seana McKenna as mother Mary falls into some familiar rhythms when admonishing her menfolk in the earlier scenes but her last speech, reverting to convent girlhood, is transcendent.”

Read Full Review06/23/2018

Broadway World - Lauren Gienow

Captivating and thought provoking

“This poignant production, taking place on the Festival Theatre Stage, is full of hope and despair, hate and love, injustice and honour and some incredible performances. It will make you think and it will make you feel.”

Read Full Review06/12/2018

Capital Critics' Circle - Jamie Portman

Intriguing Atticus Finch

“The production seems to be pleading with audiences to understand that To Kill A Mocking Bird is more than just feel-good entertainment for white liberals. It is not comfort food. And ultimately Atticus Finch, the southern lawyer who brooks racial hatred and death threats when he defends a black man on charges of rape, may prove too complicated to be an easy candidate for sainthood…

the complications are subtly present, and that’s something we don’t always get. There’s something to be said for a production on Mockingbird that leaves us wondering about Atticus Finch’s inner life.”

Read Full Review06/07/2018

The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

A gut-punch of a production

“The Stratford Festival is both staging an old adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – and questioning why it is staging it at the same time…

The large ensemble drama features a feverishly felt performance from Jonathan Goad as the white lawyer Atticus Finch, who is assigned the job of defending a black man falsely accused of rape, and a wonderfully simple and centred one from the young Clara Poppy Kushnir as Atticus’s daughter, Scout, the white girl from whose perspective the story is told.

At the same time, the Stratford Festival program handed out to audiences features a lead essay by Siminovitch Prize-nominated playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard matter-of-factly stating that Mockingbird is “concerned not with how racism ends a Black man’s life, but with how a white child’s psyche is affected by witnessing the events.”

Read Full Review06/06/2018

On Stage Blog - Joseph Szekeres

An emotional wallop

“Even after having taught this American classic to high school students for over thirty years, I never thought its story can still pack an emotional wallop. It did, courtesy of Christopher Sergel’s script and this highly engaging Stratford production directed with clear vision and compassionate insight by Nigel Shawn Williams.”

Read Full Review06/03/2018

Entertain This Thought - Mary Alderson

Level of maturity is required

“To Kill a Mockingbird is listed as this year’s Schulich Youth Play, but a level of maturity is required before a child should attend. If you decide to bring children and youth, ensure that they understand the content before they come. It will be an impactful learning opportunity, suitable for parents and grandparents, too.”

Read Full Review06/06/2018

Stage Door - Christopher Hoile

The children are especially noteworth

“Clara Poppy Kushnir is a delight as the 9-year-old Scout, a mouthy tomboy who says whatever is on her mind.

Jacob Skiba gives a very perceptive performance as Scout’s older brother Jem. He shows us Jem’s naive side in his fantastic imaginings about what their unseen neighbour Boo Radley might look like, but he is especially good at showing Jem’s natural protectiveness towards Scout so that the two really do seem like brother and sister. Hunter Smalley is effective as Dill…

This powerful production of To Kill a Mockingbird deserves the widest possible audience. The tragedy, of course, is that those who need to see the play most will stay away”

Read Full Review06/04/2018

The Stratford Beacon Herald - Geoff Dale

Provocative and thought-provoking

“With a stellar cast and gifted production crew, Williams’ Stratford directorial debut is a mesmerizingly successful production that lingers in one’s mind well past the final curtain call and emptying of the majestic Festival Theatre.

Troubling, provocative and thought-provoking”

Read Full Review06/05/2018

James Wegg Review - James Wegg

First rate cast

“Trying to uphold the law are the sheriff, Heck Tate (a well-balanced rendering from Tim Campbell—notably his last utterances), the state attorney (Horace Gilmer’s petulant demeaning tone is entirely convincing in Tim Campbell’s hands) and the judge (none better than Joseph Ziegler to keep the emotions in check even as the facts are few and far between).”

Read Full Review06/04/2018

The Toronto Star - Carly Maga

Moving performance from Goad

“A moving performance from Goad, who breaks Atticus’s perfect façade with a few flares of temper, but manages to make him even more likable because of it. What’s more, he’s surrounded by a truly adorable cast of kids — Hunter Smalley as Dill, Jacob Skiba as Jem, and an endlessly charming Clara Poppy Kushnir as Scout.”

Read Full Review06/04/2018

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