The UK and Ireland tour of To Kill a Mockingbird has been cancelled due to exclusivity disputes, reveals a joint statement from Jonathan Church Productions, Curve Theatre, Leicester and Regent's Park Theatre.
Based on Harper Lee's iconic 1960 novel and on the Christopher Sergal adaptation, this production was announced in July of 2018, following licensing granted to the organisers by Dramatic Publishing Company. A "difference of opinion" in exactly what rights were granted to Dramatic Publishing by Harper Lee Estate in 1969 has caused the tour to screech to a halt, comments organisers, with Atticus Limited Liability Company claiming worldwide exclusivity to the stage rights. The contesting group is the company formed by Scott Rudin for the current Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird.
The cohort of theatre producers and venues behind this UK tour have put forth that they have "acted in good faith at all times," adding that they are "deeply saddened" to be "forced" into immediate cancellation. Though previous iterations of To Kill a Mockingbird have been staged throughout the UK under similar licensing from Dramatic Publishing Company, Octagon Theatre Bolton (2016) and Royal Exchange Manchester (2013), to name a few, the disputing claim of exclusivity from Atticus Limited Liability Company still stands, claiming future plans for a UK tour themselves following their New York run.
In the statement released following the cancellation, Jonathan Church Productions, Curve and Regent's Park Theatre apologise to both ticket holders and those "currently working to recreate the show which had been in rehearsals until today." They direct ticketholders to contact their original sales point to arrange for refunds in full.
Image from Bolton Octagon Theatre's 2016 production of To Kill a Mockingbird, photo credit: Richard Davenport