Da Vinci Code: World stage premiere brings stars to Edinburgh King’s - Liam Rudden

It was the hype surrounding Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code that tempted me into the world of symbologist Robert Langdon.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:45 pm
Nigel Harman as Robert Langdon

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Unusual, as normally I'd give anything that appears over-hyped a wide berth. Maybe it was discovering the mysterious Rossyln Chapel featured in the thriller, or maybe it was just that I'm a sucker for anything that spins a tale around alternative religious histories.

Brown’s weaving together the legends of the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, the Merovingian kings of France and the fabled bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene ticked all the right boxes for me.

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Danny John-Jules as Sir Leigh Teabing

Some literary snobs may have looked down on the page-turner and some religious sensitivities may have been offended, but I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it. Even if it was just glorious hokum.

For anyone who hasn't read the book, or watched the later film adaptation starring Tom Hanks, the action of The Da Vinci Code begins when the curator of The Louvre is brutally murdered. Found alongside his body are a series of baffling codes.

There then follows a pulse-racing journey as Professor Robert Langdon, prime suspect for the murder, and police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, attempt to solve the riddles,. They lead them to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and the legendary Holy Grail, lost long deep in the vault of history.

In a breathless race through the streets of Europe, Langdon and Neveu must decipher the labyrinthine code before a shocking historical secret is lost forever.

At least that was how producers of the world stage premiere of The Da Vinci Code described the action of the piece as they revealed the cast set to grace the boards of the King's next April... and it's an exciting one.

Often, parachuting big names into a stage production is nothing more than stunt casting to put bums on seats, but in this case, I can instantly see the names announced being perfect fits for the roles.

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The first is Olivier-award winning ex-EastEnder Nigel Harman, you might remember him as Albert Square's Dennis Rickman, the second is Red Dwarf and Death in Paradise star Danny John-Jules, he'll always be Cat to me, and the third is newcomer Hannah Rose Caton, whose film and TV credits include The Falling, Last Knights and Wizards vs Aliens.

The trio will lead the cast as Langdon, Sir Leigh Teabing and Neveu respectively and it appears no one is happier seeing the novel come to the stage than the book’s author himself.

“I am thrilled that The Da Vinci Code is being adapted for the stage..." said Brown, adding, "The team making the production has been faithful to the book, but will also bring something new for the audience.”Needless to say, having been near the top of my 'Must See' list since it was announced some time ago, I can't wait to see how the book is adapted for the stage, and if you spot me in the audience with a wry smile, it will probably be because I'm remembering my former colleague Sandra Dick telling me about having to hide in nearby bushes when attempting to catch a glimpse of Hanks after being dispatched to cover the Roslin location shoot it for the News.

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