Cecilia Noble has joined the company as Calpurnia in the critically acclaimed production of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – a new play by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher, currently running at the Gielgud Theatre, West End.
Cecilia Noble is a highly acclaimed stage and screen actress, nominated for two Olivier Awards and two Evening Standards Awards and took over the role in November alongside Matthew Modine, starring as Atticus Finch.
The Harper Lee adaptation has been one of the major hits of this year’s West End season, playing to packed houses at the Gielgud Theatre since its opening in March.
You’re playing Calpurnia in To Kill A Mockingbird, how would you describe this production?
I would describe the production as minimalist, so the words are at the Centre of the play . The actors create the space and move some of the set around seamlessly as the story unfolds. The play has a melodic pace also created by the two musicians who are on stage most of the time.
And what was it about Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel, that made you want to be a part of it?
I love the fact that Calpurnia has a strong and present voice and is not on the fringes of the play, we really get to see her as human being, not just a maid.
What are you enjoying most about the role, and is there any part of it you find challenging?
I am enjoying the full range of emotions that I am able to play, and I love working so closely to Matthew Modine and the actors that play the children, Anna and Sam. Our relationship is deepening all the time both on and off stage.
I find the use of the ‘n’ word hard to listen to, and the traumatic events that happen in the play are a challenge to relive every day, especially to then go out into the world where these issues are still happening.
What was it like joining the existing cast, and what have you learnt from them about the show?
It was quite exciting and scary at the same time. I was excited because I had heard so much about the show and delighted to be cast. I have never done anything like this before and I think there is always a bit of doubt as it’s challenging to make the part your own. Everyone was really lovely and extremely helpful though, and I felt extremely supported.
You’re also known for your screen roles, what’s it like getting back on to the West End stage?
I was last in the West End four years ago before the pandemic. I hated seeing the theatres closed up and the streets empty in the news. It’s wonderful being here and seeing that theatre has recovered and thriving again. We made it .
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see To Kill a Mockingbird?
The show is a wonderful roller coaster ride of emotions which draws you in from beginning to end. Uniformly brilliant cast. Come see how far we have come and how far we have yet to go for equality.