Even before this year’s season at the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre has drawn to a close, the acclaimed al fresco venue already has its sights set on next summer with the announcement that this year’s hit opening production To Kill A Mockingbird will return in 2014.
Christopher Sergel’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulizer Prize-winning classic, which tells the story of a small town lawyer who tackles racial prejudices during the Great Depression, will be revived for a limited run from 28 August to 13 September 2014, drawing next year’s Open Air season to a close before embarking on a UK tour.
Directed by the venue’s Artistic Director Timothy Sheader, To Kill A Mockingbird was acclaimed for its innovative staging and powerful performances, notably by the show’s star Robert Sean Leonard, who took on the iconic role of Atticus Finch. In Lyn Gardner’s four star review for The Guardian, the critic praised Sheader’s canny staging which, she commented, “recognises the way this novel has been woven into the fabric of our lives, and constantly reminds us that books like Mockingbird, are something precious and shared – like theatre itself”, while The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer described the show as “a production of tremendous heart and emotional depth.”
Opening the 2013 season in May, the production launched what has become the venue’s most successful summer ever with more than 180,000 people having attended so far; 40,000 more than its previously highest attendance numbers in 2011.
The success is due not only to To Kill A Mockingbird, but acclaimed productions of Pride And Prejudice, current family entertainment Dinosaur Zoo and hit musical The Sound Of Music, which extended to 14 September following public demand and, no doubt, as a result of the critical praise lauded on its leading pair Charlotte Wakefield and Michael Xavier.
More details of the 2014 season, including casting for To Kill A Mockingbird, are yet to be confirmed, but tickets for the revival will go on sale to the public from 6 September.