Northern Broadsides and the New Vic Theatre’s rendition of Cyrano is nothing to sniff at.
Stepping into the theatre, the set immediately caught my eye. Instead of moving parts, three huge canvases adorned with Latin and celestial diagrams, dropped down from ceiling to floor. Instruments dotted the stage, with a balcony and benches filling the set.
The moment the first musketeer came on, two things stood out. The quality of costume was fantastic, with dark but bold colours and details set all over; secondly was the very English, very northern voice that projected from the supposed “Frenchman”. I shared a confused look with my neighbour, which was quickly replaced by a smile as the acrobatic choreography pulled you into the swashbuckling world of 1640’s Paris.
Each actor played their role splendidly, with Rostand’s famous script being fit with modern colloquialisms and references that made the audience giggle tirelessly. Sombre moments too, such as the soldier’s song at the Battle of Arras held my attention with its pleasant ensemble. Each sad moment made itself even more poignant in contrast to the largely light-hearted performance. Christian Edwards (Cyrano) encapsulated the charismatic and nasally impaired hero with gusto, nailing every line and tongue twister handed to him. Well timed malapropisms supplied by Adam Barlow (Christian) caused slapstick moments to draw screams of laughter from the audience.
Musically, the show held its ground. Each cast member played or sang, often breaking the fourth wall and mingling with the front rows, causing roaring laughter amidst playful ditties and cheeky chants.
Cyrano was a triumph for me. It kept me constantly entertained, waiting on each successive line in expectation of even more fits of laughter. What’s more, they managed to keep the detailed lines and narrative clear, making it even more accessible for newcomers- like me!
For more information visit: http://www.everymantheatre.org.uk/m-shows/cyrano-de-bergerac/