Interview: Mike Poulton on adapting A Tale of Two Cities

Interview: Mike Poulton on adapting A Tale of Two Cities

12 July 2016

‘Dickens is a brilliant writer, he had this ability to take whole chunks of society and make them real and accessible’ Mike Poulton on Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities and working with James Dacre.

Mike Poulton started writing for theatre in 1995 and his work includes stage adaptations of Schiller's Don Carlos, as well as Hilary Mantel's Booker Mann Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, with his attention turning to Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities following James Dacre's appointment as Artistic Director at Royal & Derngate, Northampton. Mike tells us he always wanted to adapt A Tale of Two Cities because it's such a powerful story and has a very famous theatrical history. He's hoping his production will make grown men weep and come out of the theatre feeling incredibly moved by the experience. 

 

"Dickens is a brilliant writer, he had this ability to take whole chunks of society and make them real and accessible"

 

"I think the reason that he thought A Tale of Two Cities was his best is the same reason that I think it is, in that it’s so dramatic'

 

"If a novel is a classic as this is, and has survived, it’s always relevant because you’re dealing with true characters and they are as much a part of ourselves as we are today"

 

 

"Sydney Carton is a brilliant man, but he sees himself as a failure and he sees his ideal reflected in the character of Charles Darnay"

 

"It’s all about questioning our existence and seeing how we can best contribute to making society a better place. "

 


A Tale of Two Cities opens at Royal & Derngate, Northampton, where it plays from 10 to 17 September 2016. It then tours to Oxford Playhouse, Richmond Theatre, Bradford Alhambra, Blackpool Grand, Wolverhampton Grand, Brighton Theatre Royal, Edinburgh King's, Cheltenham Everyman and Nottingham Theatre Royal. 

Get tickets for this show by visiting our tour page.