Nottingham Theatre Royal: A Tale of Two Cities.








22 – 26 NOVEMBER 2016


“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 Darkness… 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’s production of Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece A TALE OF TWO CITIES will be visiting the Theatre Royal Nottingham from Tuesday 22 to Saturday 26 November as part of a national tour.

Jacob Ifan will be making his professional theatre debut as ‘Charles Darnay’. Jacob is best known for playing the lead role of PC Jake Vickers on the BBC’s recent TV series Cuffs.  Joseph Timms, whose credits include Twelfth Night and Richard III (Donmar on Broadway), Privates on Parade (Noel Coward Theatre) and The Hudsucker Proxy (Nuffield/Liverpool Everyman), will play ‘Sydney Carton’

Shanaya Rafaat who has appeared in Great Expectations (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Around the World in 80 Days (St James Theatre) and King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), will play ‘Lucie Manette’ and Sue Wallace, whose National Theatre credits include Husbands and Sons,  Emil and the Detectives and Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories, takes the role of ‘Miss Pross’. Patrick Romer, who has numerous RSC credits to his name, plays ‘Dr Manette’.

Harry Attwell, whose credits include The Skriker (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Crucible (Old Vic) and Henry V (Michael Grandage Company) will play ‘Defarge’ and Noa Bodner, whose credits include Testing the Echo/Moving Stories (National Theatre) and Playing for Time (Sheffield Crucible), will play ‘Madame Defarge’. Michael Garner, fresh from Nell Gwynn in the West End, appears as ‘Lorry’.

Sean Murray (The Hook and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Royal & Derngate) plays ‘Barsad’ and Christopher Hunter (The Surprise of Love and Iphigenia, Theatre Royal Bath; Romeo and Juliet, RSC) will be the ‘Marquis’. The cast is completed by Rebecca Birch, Jonathan Dryden Taylor and Jon Tarcy.


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.

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.

Critical praise for the original production:

★★★★ “compelling” Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

★★★★ “fresh” Matt Trueman, The Guardian

★★★★ “splendid” Kate Kellaway, The Observer

★★★★★“wonderful” Libby Purves, Theatrecat

Created by producer Jenny King, The Touring Consortium Theatre Company is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year having produced the highly successful Of Mice and Men earlier in the year.

Jenny King said: “The company was created in 1996 in response to a need expressed by chief executives of several of the UKs leading touring venues for quality text based drama that reached out to new, young audiences as well as sustaining the interest of core theatre goers.  Since its creation we have produced over twenty five productions and played to over a million people, involving some 25,000 young people in our workshops and creative learning programmes.”

In 2012 TCTC were awarded over one million pounds from the ACE Strategic Touring Fund (one of the largest grants given) to support a programme of productions to be presented on tour over two and half years, with the specific aim of reaching out to new audiences. These included a world premiere production of To Sir with Love, directed by Mark Babych, adapted by Ayub Khan Din, with Matthew Kelly; a new production of Brassed Off directed by Damian Cruden with John McArdle; a world premiere production of Regeneration adapted from Pat Barker’s Booker nominated novel by Nicholas Wright, directed by Simon Godwin with Stephen Boxer; A View from the Bridge directed by Stephen Unwin with Michael Brandon and Jonathan Guy Lewis; a world premiere production of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, adapted by Dawn King, with original music from These New Puritans, directed by James Dacre with Sophie Ward and, most recently, a tour of Of Mice and Men featuring Dudley Sutton.

On the back of the success of the initial programme of work the company have again been awarded a substantial grant from the ACE Strategic Touring fund to extend their programming until 2018 with four further productions planned and further Audience development projects.   TCTC continues to form links with literacy projects around the country, as each production has an affiliated writing project run from its resources website THEATRECLOUD.


Twitter – #TwoCitiesTour

Facebook: /TouringConsortium




Theatre Royal Nottingham

Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 November 2016

Performance Times: Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Wed matinee 2pm, Sat matinee 2.30pm

Tickets: £29.50 – £13.50 plus concessions and discounts for groups, Members and Go Card holders

Box Office: 0115 989 5555


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