The Da Vinci Code: Danny John-Jules and Nigel Harman star at Sheffield Lyceum in stage version of famous thriller

Dan Brown’s blockbuster The Da Vinci Code has sold 100 million books, been a hit film franchise and is now on stage at Sheffield Lyceum.

By Julia Armstrong
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 4:25 pm

In the story, Professor Robert Langdon, played by Nigel Harman (EastEnders, Hotel Babylon), and fellow cryptologist Sophie Neveu (played by Hannah Rose Caton) attempt to solve the riddles, leading to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and beyond, deep into history.

They look for guidance from teacher and friend Professor Leigh Teabing, played by Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise), who is obsessed with the Holy Grail.

Danny said: “My role is that of the Grail expert who Sophie and Robert Langdon visit to try and solve a little mystery they’ve come upon – everyone will know what that is.

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“Things are never what they seem. It all unravels during the show – the plot unravels and the characters unravel as you learn more and more about them. But, like all great dramas, you don’t get to know the end of the story right until the end of the play.

“It’s a finale where everything is revealed but with multiple endings from different points of view. There are three or four different endings, depending on what character’s eyes you’re looking through. Everyone has their own selfish outlook as to where they’re going and what they’re trying to achieve.”

He thinks they’re a trio who would not have come together, except for the quest. “That’s what’s great about it. The thing that’s driving it is the Grail.

“Even today, there’s no concrete answers, that’s why it’s great. I don’t think there will ever really be answers, that’s what’s exciting about the piece, the end of the story hasn’t been told.

Danny John-Jules as Professor Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

“We mention it in the show – there’s many other Grail stories, even including Monty Python. Dan Brown’s is just another one, it’s just more successful than the others. We’re lucky enough to be able to do it.”

How can you get tickets for The Da Vinci Code at Sheffield Lyceum?

Hannah described her character: “Sophie is a highly intelligent young woman with a great skill for detecting. She works for the police judiciaire (a police serious crime squad based in Paris).”

Sophie meets the professor through her grandfather, who is the curator of the famous Louvre art gallery in Paris, and is murdered, and they come across the Da Vinci code mystery.

Nigel Harman and Hannah Rose Caton in The Da Vinci Code, which is on stage at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

She said: “Sophie and the professor have this relationship where they finish each other’s sentences. It’s a platonic relationship between two great minds and they end up meeting another great mind.”

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Hannah said it had been great playing such an interesting woman. She said that the play makes great use of visual magic to help interpret all the clues and twists and turns.

She said: “It’s a brilliant adventure and quest. The visuals, set and cast are incredible. At the end we get this human story. I hope they (the audience) connect with that.”

The stage version of The Da Vinci Code at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

Danny joked that it had taken him a long time to cross Tudor Square: “I was at the Crucible in 1985 – I did Carmen Jones. Stephen Pimlott was director and Jeremy Sams was music director. I was lucky to get to work with both those guys in the show.

"It took me 35 years to cross the road to the Lyceum!”

He posted a picture on Twitter of himself in the cast, which also included New Vic theatre director Kwame Kwei-Armah of Casualty fame and Clarke Peters from The Wire, who has played Othello at the Crucible.

Danny recalled that Clarke Peters had also worked before at the Crucible, where he was mentored by former artistic director Clare Venables.

He isn’t keen to speak about his most famous TV role, though – the Cat on science fiction series Red Dwarf. “It only takes up an inch in my three-page CV. I love the Cat and it also came after I’d done 10 years in the West End and two in musicals.

“I was in a musical when I auditioned. I ended up doing the musical at night and Red Dwarf during the day.”

Hannah Rose Caton plays cryptologist Sophie Neveu in The Da Vinci Code at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

The Da Vinci Code is at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield until Saturday, January 29. To book, go to the box office, call 0114 249 6000 or go online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk