A Tale of Two Cities
The original text
Set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, it explores the complexities of the French Revolution through the stories of a variety of characters.
First published in 1859 as a weekly serial in the journal All the Year Round (April to November), and, according to Wikipedia, "is the biggest selling novel of all time", having sold over 200 million copies.
The novel has often been adapted for stage, film, radio and TV, also in South Africa. Among the 19th century stage adaptations are:
The Bastille Prisoner: A reading prepared by Charles Dickens (1866, never used); The Tale of Two Cities; A Drama by H.J. Rivers (1862); A Tale of Two Cities. A Drama by Tom Taylor (Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, n.d.); The Only Way: A Tale of Two Cities (usually known simply as The Only Way) by Freeman Wills and Frederick Longbridge (first performed in 1899, apparently unpublished).
South African stage versions
1984: Produced by the University of Natal (Durban). Adapted and directed by Themi Venturas in the Music-Hall style, as though directed by Dickens himself with a Victorian company. Performed as the university's entry for the National Arts Festival Student Drama, 1984. Stage manager Linda Nichol; Set designer Mark Faith, built by Rogers Ganesan and The Company; Costume Beth Olmesdahl and June Gielink. The cast: Mark Faith, Bradley Mart, Christopher Wells, Alan Adams, Themi Venturas, Brenda Radloff, Melanie Bowles, Celeste Litkie, Catherine Ross, Anne Harvey.
1996: Produced by the Johannesburg Civic Theatre at the National Arts Festival, 1996, adapted for the stage and directed by Janice Honeyman, assisted by Roy Hunter. Set design James MacNamara, costumes design Lindy Grindlay, lighting design Jane Gosnell, sound design John Shaughnessy, puppets Lynton Richards. The cast: Simon Jones, David Lee, Neville Thomas, Iain Paton, Nicky Rebelo, Robert Colman, Chris van Niekerk, Rebecca Waddell, Jennifer Woodburn, Maragret Heale, James Borthwick, Catharine Cooke, Yana Sakelaris, Alistair Prodgers, Michael McCabe, Brett Goldin, Denise Stock, Peter Holden, Mike Huff, Thomas Hall, Dale Cutts, David Butler, Simon Huff, Erin Cutts, Chelsea Hopkins.
Frederick Wilse Bateson. 1940. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (Volume 1). CUP: p.443, Google E-book
St John Ambulance Players theatre programme, 1963.
National Arts Festival programme, 1984, 1996
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