The upcoming U.K. and Ireland tour of the Christopher Sergel adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird has been canceled after the producers behind the current Broadway production—an adaptation by Oscar and Emmy-winning writer Aaron Sorkin, produced by Scott Rudin—claimed worldwide exclusivity in the professional stage rights. The U.K. tour was scheduled to kick off at Curve Theatre, Leicester, February 7.
The Sergel adaptation of the novel was licensed to Jonathan Church Productions by Dramatic Publishing Company. However, on January 11, according to a statement released by Jonathan Church Productions, Curve Theatre, and Regent’s Park Theatre, lawyers acting for Atticus Limited Liability Company (the company formed by Rudin for the Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird) contacted all the venues due to receive the production with the exclusivity claim.
"It appears there may be a difference of opinion as to exactly what rights were originally conferred to Dramatic Publishing Company in 1969 by the Harper Lee Estate," reads the statement. "Nevertheless, despite those involved in the U.K. tour having acted in good faith at all times, Atticus Limited Liability Company made it clear that they would commence legal proceedings against the tour’s producer, originating theatre and all venues where it was due to be presented if the tour were not cancelled with immediate effect."
Ticket holders should contact their original sales point to arrange refunds.
The Sergel adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird has been seen in the U.K. previously, including in 2013, when it played at Manchester's Royal Exchange and Regent's Park Theater, and, more recently, at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton in 2016.
The new Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird continues its world-premiere run at the Shubert Theatre, where it opened December 13. Bartlett Sher directs, and Jeff Daniels stars as Atticus Finch.