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A Tale of Two CitiesHuckleberry FinnNorthanger AbbeyDavid CopperfieldThe Prisoner of Zenda



Matthew Francis (credit James Hunkin)
 Matthew Francis 

From 1990 to 1998, Matthew Francis was Artistic Director of the Greenwich Theatre. His work there included his own adaptations of Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, The Prisoner of Zenda, Northanger Abbey and Huckleberry Finn, (all of which have been published) as well as productions of Cyrano De Bergerac (with Edward Petherbridge), The Government Inspector (with Timothy Spall), The Corn Is Green (with Patricia Routledge), Side By Side By Sondheim, (with Dawn French) Caesar and Cleopatra (with Alec McCowan) and many others. 


He directed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead for the Royal National Theatre, and his work in opera includes Fidelio for Opera Northern Ireland. He has directed for The National Youth Theatre, at the University of South Florida (workshops of the Stiles/Raby musical Three Musketeers in 1999, his own adaptation of The Old Curiosity Shop in 2000, and The Comedy of Errors in 2002).


He has worked extensively in repertory theatres across the UK. He was Associate Director at the Chichester Festival Theatre - where his work included The Relapse, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Pinero's The Schoolmistress. He directed Noel and Gertie (1999) and Shaw’s Candida (2000) for Alan Ayckbourn at Scarborough. In 2001 he directed Dawn French as Bottom in a West End production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in 2003 Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld) starred in his London revival of Arsenic and Old Lace at the Strand Theatre.


His credits as television producer include the BBC success Office Gossip and Gimme Gimme Gimme (the UK inspiration for WILL & GRACE) - for which he has been nominated for both a BAFTA award and the Golden Rose of Montreux. After working on the second series of the successful comedy My Dad's The Prime Minister, Matthew produced the third series of the BBC’s most successful drama New Tricks.


At present, Matthew is collaborating on a music theatre adaptation of the movie It's A Wonderful Life. He has also adapted Rose Tremain’s novel Restoration for the Ambassadors’ Theatre Group. His adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s Lucky You goes into production in the US later this year. Matthew began his career as an actor - when, between theatre and TV appearances, he spent three happy months as front man for the Swedish pop group ABBA.


Francis's inspired adaptation and energetic direction bring Dickens' teeming novel to stage life. Francis shrewdly splits the voice of this most autobiographical of the novelist's work between the young David and his older self...
Financial Times

Glorious... a corker... a brisk, intelligent adaptation... a marvelous winter warmer for the festive season...
Daily Telegraph

Francis has the bright Stoppardian idea of dividing the narrator hero... a strong, true adaptation....

Matthew Francis has the making of another hit with his ingenious, endearing dramatisation... Francis has hit upon a terrific concept to distract from the novel's lack of a strong dramatic line... exudes good humour...
Evening Standard

Triumphs as a piece of genuine, populist theatre...
What's On

© Matthew Francis 2006