I don’t know about you, but I love a surprise.

I like bumping into friends I haven’t seen in years. I like appearing at my parents’ house when they aren’t expecting me. I like coming home to find a melon on the kitchen counter with a note stuck on it saying ‘We didn’t have a vase, so I bought you this instead of flowers’.

But more than that, I like going into something with absolutely no expectations and coming out utterly blown away. That’s the best kind of surprise, and that’s exactly what happened to me last night.

As I may have mentioned before, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favourite book of all time. So when a play of the book was on at my local theatre, I wrangled together a bunch of my family to come and see it with me. We knew nothing about the adaptation or the theatre company, we just went along to see what they were up to.


(Photo courtesy of

There’s a lot of content in Mockingbird. A lot of complicated characters who you only come to understand little by little as you progress through the book. The plot is packed with events and issues and poignant moments and all-in-all, there’s a lot to take from those 300-odd pages and whittle down into a stage show. I had some reservations about how it would translate and I really didn’t know what to expect.

It was such a beautiful surprise.

The cast members were incredible, switching between narrator-roles and characters with ease, picking up and dropping the Deep South drawl immaculately and those children. Oh my goodness. They have a bright future.


(Photo courtesy of

A lot of thought and care has clearly been given to this play, and it’s obvious that Christopher Sergel, who adapted it for the stage, has real reverence for the book and Harper Lee’s use of language. The speech was lifted directly from the original text, and huge chunks of the narration were read aloud. It was so, so faithful. There were a few school groups in the audience and I think this production will have really helped them. This play brings to life the aspects of Mockingbird that are easily lost when you concentrate too hard; the humour, the sensitivity and the humanity.

I came out of the theatre last night feeling so many things in a really intense way. It was the same feeling I have whenever I finish reading the book; elated by the experience of it and bereft that it’s over.

The play is on in MK until Saturday, and then moves on to Richmond, so if you get the chance, see it.

You can thank me later.