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Richmond Players bring American classic to the local stage throughout August

Jul 31, 2022

Three young actors from western Sydney will take the lead in Richmond Players’ stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s famous book To Kill a Mockingbird, which kicks off in August.


On the stage, the American classic is narrated by an older Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch (Alicia Brace of Penrith) as she looks back on an incident in her Alabama town when she was young.


Atticus (Matthew Barry), Jem (Luke Shiell), Scout (Leisel Hussey) and Maudie (Heloise Tolar) at breakfast


She tells the story of living with her older brother Jem, and their widowed father Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer, who is asked to defend a black man wrongly accused of raping a young white woman.


Director Matthew Barry, of Lawson, who also plays the lead role of Atticus Finch, said theatre teaches us.


Mockingbird speaks to the current strangeness we find ourselves in as a society,” he says.

“I feel this play is a timely reminder of the need within any society for absolutes: ethics, tolerance, acceptance, respect.


“Atticus’s beautiful faith in humanity, deeply held moral convictions and sense of hope are an inspiration we all need to cling to.”


Liesel Hussey of South Maroota, Luke Shiell of Parramatta and Cooper Falzon of Cranebrook take on the roles of Scout, Jem, and their friend Dill.


Liesel, who is in Year 7, said she is relishing the chance to play the lead of Scout.


“I am just loving this opportunity,” she said. “It is such a challenging acting role. Scout is a character everyone knows and it is interesting finding my way of acting her.”


Scout and Atticus


Luke is enjoying the challenge of playing Scout’s older brother.


“Jem is just becoming a young man and it is fun to play the tension between wanting to still be a kid and feeling the need to look after Scout,” Luke said.


Cooper, who plays the “quirky” character of Charles Baker Harris, also known as ‘Dill’, has studied acting and performed in the Short & Sharp Theatre Festival.


Atticus and Jem


“I think of Dill as a kind of old man in a kid’s body,” Cooper said. “He does not have a very happy home life and uses his imagination to help him escape. This is an amazing play.”


Performances run on Fridays and Saturdays, from August 5 to 20 at the Richmond School of Arts, West Market St, Richmond. Bookings: click here.


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