He’s an honest, single father of Scout (Gwyneth Keyworth) and Jem (Harry Redding) who observe and touch upon their father’s defence of Tom Robinson (Jude Owusu) on trial for the rape of a white girl.
Robinson is harmless however within the American south of the Thirties, an accused black man is a useless black man.
By specializing in the trial itself, Sorkin cuts to the chase, jettisoning the context and lowering it to some good traces about US historical past.
The Civil Warfare, he says, didn’t happen 70 years earlier however “yesterday” to many white Southerners.
In realigning the story to suit the present narrative, Sorkin loses the refined nuances of small-town America, together with the novel’s theme of childhood innocence slowly eroding.
Sorkin additionally reframes Atticus Finch’s perception that there’s goodness to be present in everybody (even appalling racists) as a type of conceitedness, which black housekeeper Calpurnia (Pamela Nomvete) challenges.
There’s a lot good work right here, nonetheless; the 2 principal black characters Robinson and Calpurnia have been augmented.
Robinson’s dignified fatalism contrasts nicely with Calpurnia’s suppressed anger at Finch’s wishy-washy liberalism.
Each Jim Norton’s Decide Taylor and Lloyd Hutchinson’s city drunk Hyperlink Deas are absolutely shaped human beings.
Miriam Buether’s deserted manufacturing facility set into which courtroom furnishings and Finch’s entrance porch are flown out and in reeks of Melancholy-era indigence.
Extra problematic is the sidelining of the mysterious Boo Radley and the caricature of abuser/racist Bob Ewell (Patrick O’Kane).
Persons are not born with racist views, as Oscar Hammerstein II wrote in South Pacific, “You’ve bought to be taught/To hate/And concern…”.
Whereas it’s a stable, typical manufacturing, the eagerness to look a la mode diminishes its supply materials.
Gielgud Theatre till November 19 Tickets: 0344 482 5151