Main content

Charles Dickens' iconic story of love, revolution and redemption, updated and set in contemporary Aleppo and London.

Charles Dickens' iconic story of love, revolution and redemption, updated and set in contemporary Aleppo and London.

Dickens' original novel is a powerful portrayal of personal sacrifice set against the turbulent backdrop of political change. As resonant today as it was then, the redemption of flawed humanity is at the heart of award winning writer Ayeesha Menon's bold reworking of A Tale of Two Cities.

The story of a chance resemblance between a feckless lawyer and a troubled exile, both in love with the same woman, is updated to modern-day London and war-torn Syria. However, in this modern version, the driving forces are two women - British Syrian journalist Lina Mahmoud and her nemesis, Taghreed Daffar.

It's a classic tale reimagined as a provocative and moving drama for today.

Episode 1: 2011/2012
It's the Arab Spring and peaceful protests in Syria lead to a release of political prisoners. When Dr Mahmoud is freed after 30 years, he is sheltered by Taghreed and Emad Daffar, and brought to the UK by his old friend Jarvis Lorry and the daughter he has never met, foreign correspondent Lina. Back in London, Jarvis persuades his nephew Sid Carton, a flawed but brilliant advocate, to represent Syrian émigré doctor Shwan Dahkurdi against terrorism charges. When Lina and Shwan meet, they are immediately attracted. But Dr Mahmoud's release has set in train a series of events that none of them can escape.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, adapted for radio by Ayeesha Menon
Development concept written by Silas Parry
Sound design by Eloise Whitmore
Broadcast Assistant: Jan Shepherd

Produced by Gill Parry
Directed by Polly Thomas

Producer for Goldhawk Productions: Emma Hearn
Executive Producer: John Dryden

A Goldhawk production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

58 minutes

Last on

Sun 20 May 2018 15:00

More episodes


You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Drama


Role Contributor
Taghreed Fatima Adoum
Lina Lara Sawalha
Jarvis Phil Davis
Shwan Dahkurdi Khalid Abdalla
Sid Shaun Parkes
Dr Mahmoud Nadim Sawalha
Cameraman Shiv Grewal
Emad Raad Rawi
Yakub George Georgiou
Samia Nathalie Armin
Syrian Protestor Ahmed Aziz
Director Polly Thomas
Producer Gill Parry
Author Charles Dickens
Adaptor Ayeesha Menon


Featured in...

A Tale of Two Cities: Aleppo and London

A Tale of Two Cities: Aleppo and London

Meet the cast of Charles Dickens' iconic story set in contemporary Aleppo and London.

Audio Books - great readings

Audio Books - great readings

A selection of highlights available to download via the iPlayer Radio app

The Shakespeare Sessions

The Shakespeare Sessions

Immerse yourself in Shakespeare’s world