To Kill a Mockingbird is on now at the Palace Theatre on Dundas St.
At the midway point of the run, it has become the No. 1 show in ticket sales in the history of the London Community Players.
Some of the best actors in the area have joined director John Gerry to stage a moving and inspirational production.
Based on the Harper Lee novel, the dramatization is done by Christopher Sergel. It stays true to the book and captures the power and moral vicissitudes of the novel.
Everything was indeed black and white in Maycomb, the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird, but as the play develops, we witness the power of conviction, as well as of innocence.
Witness, conviction and innocence are words I’ve carefully chosen to reflect the main focus of the show – the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape.
The cast is well prepared for its presentation under Gerry’s direction. They are all strong performers but I’d like to single out a few.
David Wasse gives lawyer Atticus Finch a steadfastness the audience clings to. You inherently place your hope in this character as the play unfolds and Wasse never lets us down for a moment by shifting away from the person we expect Finch to be.
Jeff Werkmeister as the reprehensible Bob Ewell embodies his character’s stunning lack of morality. He becomes the antithesis of Finch. Every wipe of his nose, narrowing of the eyes and strut through the courtroom spells resentment and hatred.
Werkmeister has always been a money-in-the-bank actor and he doesn’t disappoint here.
Karalyn Riepert as the anguished Mayella Ewell gives her character a surprising stubbornness that works remarkably well.
And a shoutout to Helen Wainman, who shines in a twisted way in her portrayal of the snarly and ultimately sad Mrs. Dubpse. Well done.
The show runs till Saturday.
Here’s a link for more information.