Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Theatre: A Tale of Two Cities (★★½)

By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud
Directed by Hugh Hodgart
Set and costume design by Chris Kydd Brain
Performed by WAAPA 3rd Year acting students
Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA
19-25 August, 2016

From “It was the best of times” to “It is a far, far better thing”, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities burned into the mythos of generations of misty-eyed boys and girls. Sydney Carton’s martyrdom stood alongside Captain Oates’s walk and the Spartans’ last stand as paragons of noble sacrifice and grace in the shadow of death.
Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud wrote their stage adaptation in 1935 but, for a charmingly generous reason, it stayed in the cupboard for 78 years.
This production by WAAPA’s graduating acting course students, then, is one of its rare outings. To be honest, it quickly becomes apparent why so few producers have felt compelled to give it an airing.
And perhaps, after a year that’s brought us a muscular Coriolanus and a mighty A View From the Bridge (to say nothing of the music student’s absolutely fabulous Drowsy Chaperone), it’s almost a relief to find that, unlike Lucie Manette, WAAPA isn’t perfect!

Read the complete review in The West Australian

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