Rafe Spall to star in West End premiere of To Kill a Mockingbird

Spall will replace Rhys Ifans as Atticus Finch in production opening at the Gielgud theatre in March 2022

Rafe Spall is to play Atticus Finch in the West End premiere of To Kill a Mockingbird when it opens in London next year. Spall replaces Rhys Ifans in the lead role of the production, which had been due to open this May but has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

To Kill a Mockingbird will now open at the Gielgud theatre in March 2022. It is written by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and is based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning 1960 novel. The play began its Broadway run in December 2018. Shortly before New York’s theatres were closed due to the pandemic, its cast gave a free performance at Madison Square Garden in front of 18,000 schoolchildren.

On Broadway, Jeff Daniels played Finch, the small-town lawyer in 1930s Alabama who defends a black man wrongly accused of rape. Adult actors portrayed the children in the story. The New York production opened after the estate of Harper Lee and the play’s producers “amicably settled” lawsuits regarding changes to the characterisations, particularly of Finch.

Spall was last on stage in a barnstorming solo role in Death of England at the National Theatre. He stars in the forthcoming time-travelling comedy film Long Story Short.

As it was on Broadway, To Kill a Mockingbird will be directed by Bartlett Sher and designed by Miriam Buether. Both were nominated for Tony awards for their work on the play. Tickets go on general sale for the London production on 6 April. More than 500 tickets priced between £5 and £10 will be available each week.


Chris Wiegand

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
To Kill a Mockingbird review – Harper Lee would approve of snappy Sorkin update
Rafe Spall is a dignified Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s smooth and confident adaptation, which finds modern-day resonances in the 1960 classic about racial injustice in the American south

Arifa Akbar

31, Mar, 2022 @10:59 PM

Article image
Aaron Sorkin's To Kill a Mockingbird to open in West End next year
The West Wing writer’s play will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s novel

Chris Wiegand

31, Oct, 2019 @11:32 AM

Article image
Broadway producers of To Kill a Mockingbird countersue Harper Lee's estate
New suit claims Aaron Sorkin adaptation may have to be scrapped over alleged differences between the play and novel, as producers offer to stage disputed work at federal court

Sian Cain

17, Apr, 2018 @9:53 AM

Article image
To Kill a Mockingbird hits Broadway after lawsuit over Aaron Sorkin’s script
The Social Network screenwriter’s take on Harper Lee’s novel had been opposed by her estate, and reports say portrayal of Atticus Finch has been softened

Alison Flood

13, Dec, 2018 @5:44 PM

Article image
Harper Lee estate sues over Broadway version of To Kill a Mockingbird
Estate alleges Aaron Sorkin’s script breaches undertakings to stay faithful to Lee’s novel, altering characters including Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson and Scout Finch

Alison Flood

15, Mar, 2018 @11:25 AM

Article image
To Kill a Mockingbird review – Aaron Sorkin spellbinds Broadway
The Oscar-winning writer’s controversial adaptation of the Harper Lee novel hits the stage with a splash and a strong central performance from Jeff Daniels

Alexis Soloski

14, Dec, 2018 @2:00 AM

Article image
Mockingbird play set for Broadway after Harper Lee estate settles dispute
Lawyers for the late novelist, and for producers of Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation, have agreed a deal that will allow the show to open in December

Alison Flood

11, May, 2018 @10:22 AM

Article image
Rafe Spall: 'Dieting is the opposite of sex!'
Once the ‘go-to guy for feckless losers’, the actor is now spearheading Apple’s assault on British TV. He talks about flops, racism, chest hair – and Laurence Fox

Lanre Bakare

21, Apr, 2020 @5:00 AM

Article image
Sonia Friedman unveils season of West End plays for 'bold new world'
Gemma Arterton and Emma Corrin will be among cast in set of dramas confronting urgent issues

Chris Wiegand

12, Mar, 2021 @12:28 PM

Article image
The week in theatre: To Kill a Mockingbird; The Mozart Question; Clybourne Park – review
Rafe Spall is a fine Atticus in Aaron Sorkin’s somewhat awkward spin on Harper Lee; Jessica Daniels steers a sublime adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s tale; and Bruce Norris’s racial satire is snappily revived

Susannah Clapp

03, Apr, 2022 @9:30 AM