Theatre News

To Kill a Mockingbird tour cancelled following exclusivity claim from producers of Broadway production

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre touring production was due to open at Curve, Leicester on 7 February

To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
© Johan Persson

The 2019 touring version of To Kill a Mockingbird has been cancelled.

The news comes following an exclusivity claim brought by the producers of the Broadway production.

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's production was due to open on 7 February at Leicester Curve, before heading to cities including Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Norwich, Kingston, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Malvern, Canterbury, Cambridge, Dublin, Guildford, Salford, Inverness, Aberdeen.

Christopher Sergel's adaptation was licensed to Jonathan Church Productions by Dramatic Publishing Company, however lawyers acting for Scott Rudin's company Atticus Limited Liability, formed for the Broadway production, are claiming worldwide exclusivity rights in the professional stage rights of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Jonathan Church Productions maintains that the statement conflicts with the licence issued by Dramatic Publishing Company, and posits that it is at odds with the fact that professional productions of the Sergel adaptation have been staged in the UK under similar licences from Dramatic Publishing Company.

In a statement released today, producers said that Atticus Limited Liability Company had made it clear that it
would commence legal proceedings against the UK tour's producer, originating theatre and all venues where it
was due to be presented if the tour were not cancelled with immediate effect. According to producers, Atticus Limited Liability Company were "unwilling to consider any compromises which were proposed to resolve the situation without lengthy and costly legal action".

Jonathan Church Productions, Curve and Regent's Park Theatre said: "We are deeply saddened to have been forced into the position of disappointing audiences across the UK and Ireland.

"We would like to thank all those who have already purchased tickets, and those currently working to recreate the show which had been in rehearsals until today.

"We are truly sorry for the inconvenience this cancellation will cause and ask that ticketholders contact their
original sales point to arrange full refunds."

The original production opened at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in 2013 with direction by Timothy Sheader, before embarking on a 2015 UK tour and performing for a month at the Barbican.