A Dickens of a play

Jacob Ifan and Shanaya Rafaat in A Tale of Two Cities at King's Theatre Pic: Contributed
Jacob Ifan and Shanaya Rafaat in A Tale of Two Cities at King's Theatre Pic: Contributed
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HE was an instant hit the BBC cop show Cuffs as PC Jake Vickers, but this week Jacob Ifan has swapped his serge for a far more flamboyant period costume, as he makes his professional theatre debut as Charles Darnay in Charles Dicken’s literary classic A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens considered the novel to be 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.

First produced by the Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, in 2014, the production, directed by James Dacre and with an original score by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman, played to great critical and public acclaim.

Dacre says, “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.

“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 can be imbued with a passion that a novel cannot capture and 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 relevance.”

Joining the professional cast, an ensemble of local actors will help capture the turbulence and romance of the French revolution.

A Tale of Two Cities, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, tonight-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £17-£30.50, 0131-529 6000