“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darknesss… It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair – we had everything before us! We had nothing before us!”
The Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton present Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece A TALE OF TWO CITIES, opening at Royal & Derngate on Saturday 10 September 2016, with a national press night on Wednesday 14 September, and touring the UK until November.
Dickens considered his novel, A Tale Of Two Cities the best story he had ever written. Interweaving one family’s intensely personal drama with the terror and chaos of the French Revolution, it is an epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption amidst horrific violence and world changing events.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES was first produced in Northampton in 2014, to great critical and public acclaim, and was director James Dacre’s inaugural production at the theatre. Adapted by Mike Poulton (Fortune’s Fool, Old Vic and Broadway, Wolf Hall RSC, West End & Broadway), and with an original score by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman (The Cider House Rules, Beloved), and UK Theatre Award nominated design by Mike Britton, with lighting design by Paul Keogan, sound design by Adrienne Quartly, movement direction by Struan Leslie, and fight direction by Terry King. Casting to be announced.
James Dacre said, “Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 as a meditation on politics and power, the individual versus the system and the private versus the public. Mike Poulton, Rachel Portman and I first mounted this adaptation in the aftermath of the Arab Spring to cast a light on the protests, fanaticism and political unrest that were spreading across the world at that time.
Our decision along with Jenny King, Producer of The Touring Consortium, to revisit the production during this year of elections, referendums and revolutions across the world is motivated by a shared belief that great historical dramas can play an important role in contemporary political conversations by emotionally engaging audiences in human stories, countering the disaffection that seems to dominate so much of today’s political debate. Theatre and music can be imbued with a passion that a novel cannot capture and Royal & Derngate and Touring Consortium’s A Tale of Two Cities aims to focus on the humanity of Dickens’ novel in a way that gives the historical events an immediacy and urgent relevance for today’s audiences.”
A TALE OF TWO CITIES will play at Oxford, Richmond, Bradford, Blackpool, Wolverhampton, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Nottingham. The professional company will perform alongside a chorus of twelve actors drawn from the local community, to capture the turbulence, anarchy and romance of London and Paris during the tumultuous years of the French revolution.
UK tour dates 2016
Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th September ROYAL & DERNGATE NORTHAMPTON
Tuesday 20th – Saturday 24th September OXFORD PLAYHOUSE
Tuesday 27th – Saturday 1st October RICHMOND THEATRE
Tuesday 4th – Saturday 8th October BRADFORD ALHAMBRA
Tuesday 11th – Saturday 15th October BLACKPOOL GRAND
Wednesday 19th – Saturday 22nd October WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND
Tuesday 1st – Saturday 5th November THEATRE ROYAL BRIGHTON
Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12th November KINGS THEATRE EDINBURGH
Tuesday 15th – Saturday 19th November CHELTENHAM EVERYMAN
Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th November THEATRE ROYAL NOTTINGHAM
Photo: Robert Day