"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times..." So begins one of the great novels of English literature, as well as this exciting new dramatization which premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse to audience and critical acclaim. Sidney Carton, a dissolute lawyer, who bears a striking resemblance to Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, loves the same woman as Darnay, the charming Lucie Manette. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this romance will eventually lead us to the guillotine and the famous final line: "It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done..." Along the journey are some of Dickens' most remarkable characters: the Revolutionary hero Defarge and his ever-knitting wife Madame Defarge; Dr. Manette, falsely imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years and then "recalled to life"; the evil Marquis St. Evremonde; the hilarious Jerry Cruncher with his grave robbing and his wife's "floppin"; the devoted Miss Pross; and a vast array of delicious character roles. The production can be done on a unit set with clever effects fully described in the script to whisk the audience from the slums of Paris to a rich chateau; English courtrooms, graveyards and La Guillotine herself. The play has been lavishly praised for its adherence to Dickens' narrative and embodiment of the characters he created. Excellent for school groups.
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- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code T31000
- Cast Size 24
- Min. Royalty Rate $90/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 130 min
- Target Audience Middle School | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages) | Senior Adults
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9780871295033
- "This is an incredible adaptation of the Dickens novel. Mr. Johanson has created a script with strongly delineated characters, wonderful pace and intelligent dialogue. The emotional transitions in this classic enable young actors to experience the depth of each role portrayed."
- Review by Maureen Bernstein, Desert Oasis High School, Las Vegas, Nev.
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "The set can be very simple. The play works well when scenes flow into each other. The goal is to be seamless."
- Tip by Geoff Rhodenizer, Prince George Theatre Workshop, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada