When people get fed up of the abuses of those at the top, when the pain is bad enough, they do something about it. That’s what the French Revolution was about, when the disenfranchised made the aristocracy pay for its callousness. “It was the best of times,” (for some); “it was the worst of times” (for others). So wrote Charles Dickens in his masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities. A theater adaptation of it, by Mike Poulton, is now making its US premiere at A Noise Within (ANW) in Pasadena.
At ANW, TALE is a political thriller with a love story at its center. Two main messages are delivered: first, grand changes can be accomplished when the masses unite towards one same goal; and second, an individual’s actions can certainly affect another person’s life for the better. In both large and in small settings, what you do can make a difference.
TALE keeps the audience’s attention throughout. After all, Dickens is a marvelous writer. A Tale of Two Cities is the second bestselling single-volume of all time (only Cervantes’ Don Quixote has sold more), and much credit goes to Poulton for turning it into a story that flows easily on stage, that delivers its messages clearly, and that is emotionally compelling.
Frederick Stuart is superb as Sydney Carton, and he is in good company within this talented cast of 23. The play is directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott.
TALE will perform in repertory with The Madwoman of Chaillot and Mrs. Warren’s Profession through November 18, 2017, as part of ANW’s 26th season. Tickets start at $25, available by calling (626) 356-3100 or visiting ANoiseWithin.org
A Noise Within is located at 3352 E. Foothill Blvd in Pasadena 91107.
Photo: Scene of A Tale of Two Cities at ANW – Credit: Craig Schwartz
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