Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities, returns to the theatre in a co-production by The Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton touring this autumn.
Dickens considered his novel 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 amid 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.
It has been 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).
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.”
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
September 13-17, ROYAL & DERNGATE NORTHAMPTON September 20-24, OXFORD PLAYHOUSE September 27-October 1, RICHMOND THEATRE October 4-8, BRADFORD ALHAMBRA Octobert 11-15, BLACKPOOL GRAND October 19-22, WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND November 1-5, THEATRE ROYAL BRIGHTON November 8-12, KINGS THEATRE EDINBURGH November 15-19, CHELTENHAM EVERYMAN November 22-26, THEATRE ROYAL NOTTINGHAM