Posted: Tue 1st Feb 2022

The Da Vinci Code – Stage adaptation of Dan Brown’s best seller comes to Theatr Clwyd

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 1st, 2022

The first ever stage adaptation of Dan Brown’s best-selling thriller The Da Vinci Code comes to Theatr Clwyd this February.

This World Premiere production is directed by Luke Sheppard, stars Nigel Harman as Robert Langdon,  Danny John-Jules as Sir Leigh Teabing, Hannah Rose Caton as Sophie Neveu and Joshua Lacy as Silas

The curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered, and alongside his body are a series of baffling codes.

Follow the pulse-racing journey as Professor Robert Langdon and fellow cryptologist Sophie Neveu, attempt to solve the riddles, leading to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and beyond, deep into the vault of history.

In a breathless race through the streets of Europe, Langdon and Neveu must decipher the labyrinthine code before a shocking historical secret is lost forever.

Dan Brown author of the best selling novel said: “I am thrilled that The Da Vinci Code is being adapted for the stage, and excited to see the unique potential of live theatre enhance this story.”

“The team making the production has been faithful to the book, but will also bring something new for the audience, in what is certain to be a gripping, fast-paced stage thriller and a thoroughly entertaining show.”

Luke Sheppard said: “Cracking The Da Vinci Code open for the stage reveals an epic thriller steeped in theatrical potential, rich in suspense and surprising at every turn. Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel’s brilliant adaptation leaps off the page and demands us to push the limits of our imagination, creating a production that champions dynamic theatrical storytelling and places the audience up close in the heat of this gripping mystery.”

The Da Vinci Code will be performed at Theatr Clwyd from Monday 14 February – Saturday 19th February. Tickets are from £26. Booking available at Theatr Clwyd’s website or by calling 01352 344101.

Danny John-Jules

5 minutes with The Da Vinci Code star: Danny John-Jules 

The best-selling novel that captivated the world and sold over 100 million copies is now an epic stage thriller. We sat down with Danny John-Jules(Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise) to find out more about this exciting project:

How would you sum up the character of Sir Leigh Teabing as portrayed in the play?

He’s a huge character who was previously played by a huge character [Ian McKellen] in a huge movie based on a huge book. [Laughs] So no pressure! I’d describe him as a puppet-master. You’re not supposed to be able to work him out but he’s one of these eccentric millionaires we’ve seen living in big houses who are pretty much just waiting for someone to come round and visit them.

Can you relate to Sir Leigh in any way?

Well, in the early days when you’ve left home, you’re plying your trade and you’re in your house alone grafting away before you settle down etc – that’s something I can relate to, namely being the lonely guy at home, waiting for the next phone call and the next job. The difference with him is that he has loads of money and can do whatever he wants but the biggest want in his life is the one thing he can’t get.

What appealed to you about playing him?

If you ask anybody who sees the poster for the first time they’ll go ‘What? Danny-John Jules is playing Sir Leigh Teabing?’ But that’s exactly what art is supposed to do – to make you ask questions. Then you look at it and you go ‘What’s so strange about that?’ You’ve got Sir Garfield Sobers, you’ve got Sir Keith Richards, you’ve got Sirs out there nobody would bat an eyelid about.

Does the role present any challenges?

Most of the people know the story. With any book that has sold 80 million copies so many people already know the story so there’s a double pressure there. It’s not like it’s something nobody has heard of or seen, at least in the film version. They know the character and they know the story, and that to me is the challenge – to bring him to life in my own way. There will always be people who go ‘I preferred the film version’ but my reaction to that is ‘Bring it on!’ The thing I go for is that within five minutes you’ve forgotten who I am. That’s the thing, isn’t it? If the portrayal is working the way, it should then you’re not watching Danny John-Jules and you’re certainly not thinking about Ian McKellen.

Have you done any research?

When you first read the script you go ‘Holy mackerel! What does this word even mean?’ I’ve been on for ages. It’s all Latin and Biblical. But I already knew some of the stuff. I knew about Emperor Constantine, for instance, because I researched him for a radio play I wrote called Knight Talker which was based on a lot of things we talk about in The Da Vinci Code.

Were you already familiar with The Da Vinci Code book and film?

I’d seen the film and in some ways it’s bad to see a film without reading the book because people then seem to think the film version is the gospel, whereas I’d say nine times out of ten Hollywood takes the heart and soul out of the piece.  Plus, what you’ve got to remember is the book came out nearly 20 years ago and a lot of things have changed. For example, when the book was written the SmartCar was a phenomenon and that no longer applies because the play is set in the present day and Sir Leigh Teabing is a very different guy because it’s a very different world.

What is it about these characters and this story that you think continues to fascinate people?

If you think about it, we live in a Christian country and The Da Vinci Code makes people question their religion. Then there’s the conspiracy theory aspect to it, conspiracy theorists will always be around and their questions will never be answered. You could do The Da Vinci Code in 100 years’ time and people would still be torn as to whether they believe it or not. That’s the fascinating thing about doing this play: The questions it raises will never be answered. It’s what keeps the wheels of religion turning because nobody has the answers and if that’s the case all people are doing is arguing their own opinions. The Da Vinci Code invites you to listen, decipher and try and make your mind up but I guarantee you every single person who walks out of that theatre will not be able to fully make up their minds.

The stage adaptation is a new play rather than a revival. Is that exciting for you as an actor?

Absolutely but then I’m lucky that I’ve never really done what you’d call recurring work like soap operas. Red Dwarf is a sitcom but each season we move the show forward. It doesn’t sit on its laurels and the guys are always pushing the boundaries to see ‘What haven’t we done?’ I love those conversations. With Maid Marion and Her Merry Men nothing has since been on children’s TV to touch it.  

You’ve done a lot of high-profile TV. Which roles are you most recognised for?

It goes from The Story Makers to Maid Marion and Her Merry Men to Red Dwarf to Death In Paradise. Take your pick. 

What do you especially enjoy about live performance?

That’s where I started. That’s my thing. I’m a song-and-dance man, I’m an entertainer, and theatre is where entertainment started. Before cameras there was an audience and as Laurence Olivier used to say you should always do theatre before you do film and TV because that’s the root of the art. 



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