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4th Jul, 2022

Malvern a 'magical' place to be taking Mockingbird lead

Malvern Editorial 1st Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

This week the Observer’s Nigel Slater chatted to actor Daniel Betts who is currently performing one of the lead roles in the show To Kill A Mockingbird at Malvern Theatres.

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AN ACCOMPLISHED stage and television actor has spoken of his excitement at performing in Malvern this week – describing the area as ‘magical’.

Daniel Betts, well known for his theatre roles in Skylight, The Winter’s Tale and Dial M for Murder, took to the Malvern Theatres stage from Monday (September 29) in a six-day gig which sees the West End production of To Kill A Mocking Bird come to the popular Grange Road venue.

Direct from London’s West End and adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, the classic story is set in the Deep South which sees racial injustice envelop a small-town community.

But through courage and compassion, lawyer Atticus Finch – played by Betts – seeks the truth and his feisty daughter brings new hope to a neighbourhood in turmoil.

Directed by Timothy Sheader, the show aims to capture the warmth and poignancy of the much-loved novel written by Harper Lee.

Betts, who has also appeared on television shows such as A Touch of Frost, Criminal Justice and Law and Order, said he has a deep connection with Malvern.

“Malvern has a particular affection for me because of Elgar,” he told the Observer.

“I grew up listening to his music and to go to that landscape and breathe in that air that he did – there’s something so special and unbelievable about performing there. When I got my first chance to work at Malvern Theatres it was wonderful.

“There’s this unbelievable creativity that goes through this little town and you feel that when you’re there and when you’re between shows. It’s a magical place.

“There is always great audiences there who know good theatre when they see it.”

Betts said it was a huge honour for him to land one of the main roles on the show as lawyer Atticus Finch.

“It was a huge honour but also mildly terrifying because you can spend a lot of time worrying about filling people’s boots but then you have to sit back and say you can only do what you do best,” he added.

“It’s been a huge privilege for me to play Atticus because it’s such a wonderful story to be telling people, you just can’t beat that feeling.

“There are a big world issues in the story which are coached and played to effect in such brilliant storytelling and performing.

“It’s a big tour we are on as it doesn’t finish until May next year and it’s a real challenge as you have to keep up the inspiration of telling the story all over the country.

“But with a story like this much of that work is done for you and the response you get from the audience is really special.”

Shows start at 7.30pm with matinée performances taking place at 2.30pm today (Wednesday) and Saturday. Tickets cost from £22.96 and are available by visiting www.malvern-theatres.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01684 892277.

 

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