Charles Dickens' classic novel
'A Tale Of Two Cities' was developed as a musical in the mid sixties by theatre producer
Jerry Wayne who commissioned his son Jeff to compose the score for the project. With a book by Constance Cox, music by
Jeff Wayne and lyrics by Jerry Wayne;
'Two Cities' opened at London's Palace Theatre on February 27th 1969.
The musical starred Edward Woodward (as Sydney Carton), Kevin Colson (as Charles
Darnay), Elizabeth Power (as Lucie Manette), Nicolette Roeg (as Madame
Defarge) and Leone Greene (as Monsieur Defarge). Although reviews were mixed,
'Two Cities' was nominated for 'Best Musical' at the 1969 Variety Club and Evening Standard Awards with Edward Woodward winning for
'Best Male Performance in a Musical'.
Reflecting on 'Two Cities', composer Jeff Wayne commented:
ʻTwo Citiesʼ opened at the Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus in February 1969, but very little has survived about it. What has survived reveals it being received by the critics in the way we feel about Marmite!
Or perhaps as Mr. Dickens' opening line exclaims - ʻIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times...ʼ
I have distinct memories of standing ovations on opening night (ʻthe best of times...ʼ) followed by the Marmite reviews and largely empty houses for the first few weeks
(ʻthe worst of times...ʼ).
But then 'word-of-mouth' spread that in fact 'Two Cities' was pretty good, including an award-winning performance by its leading man, Edward Woodward. While the remaining run played to virtually sold-out audiences, 'Notice' from the theatre owners had already condemned 'Two Cities' to the guillotine.
NOTE: 'Back in the day', cast albums were recorded on the first Sunday after opening night with the cast and musicians from the show. A few run-throughs and takes onto stereo tape were allocated, and that was your lot!
The CD features previously unreleased original 1966 demo recordings for the show, including several songs that would be later cut from the production.
DATE: JUNE 24th, 2016
CATALOGUE #: STAGE 9045
tracks licensed from The WOW Recording Company Ltd
Published by Jeff Wayne Music (Publishing) Ltd.
TWO CITIES - ORIGINAL LONDON
1. THE BEST OF TIMES
2. TENDER LOVE AND PATIENCE
3. INDEPENDENT MAN / WHAT WOULD YOU DO
4. LOOK ALIKE
5. AND LUCIE IS HER NAME / GOLDEN HAIRED DOLL
7. THE TIME IS NOW
8. THE MACHINE OF DR. GUILLOTINE
9. TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE
10. ONLY A FOOL
11. WILL WE EVER MEET AGAIN?
12. THE KNITTING SONG
14. LONG AGO
15. IT'S A FAR, FAR BETTER THING
BONUS TRACKS - 'TWO CITIES' ORIGINAL 1966 DEMOS
16. THE WINE THAT FLOWS IN THE STREET
17. TENDER LOVE AND PATIENCE
18. WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITHOUT ME
19. LOOK ALIKE
20. SOMEONE TO LOVE
21. FOR JUSTICE WE MARCH
22. LET THEM EAT CAKE
23. THE PROPOSAL SONG
24. I WOULD GIVE MY LIFE
25. THE MACHINE OF DR. GUILLOTINE