I thought I'd read this years ago, but when we started rehearsing a stage adaptation I thought I'd refresh my memory. I don't think I'd actually ever read it.
It's excellent Dickens, well-observed, strong characters, often incredibly funny, everything you'd expect. The problem is that it should really have been A Tale of One City - Paris. The London scenes slow things up somewhat, and it's a great relief when the heads finally start rolling.
I'm glad I finally read it, wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but with the best will in the world, that first half does drag somewhat. Not a single detail is unnecessary of course, it's all masterfully written, much of it essential to the later plot, and to compare and contrast 18th Century England with pre-Revolutionary France, with the similar levels of social inequality and arbitrary justice, must have given Victorian Britain a real 'there but by the grace of God go we' shiver. But still, it can be hard going.
The stage adaptation went pretty well, as you ask, but more to the point a certain scene towards the end of the novel has started me thinking in terms of a sequel of sorts. No, really.