Dec 18th, 2019
Hollywood star James McAvoy has returned to the West End in this incredibly modern staging of Edmond Rostand's 19th-century play, Cyrano de Bergerac. Based on a real man, and loosely following his life events, Cyrano de Bergerac (McAvoy) is a tale of a swashbuckling soldier whose quest for love is thwarted by his rather large nose.
Famous for its verse and boasting of some of the most genius lines in the dramatic cannon Cyrano de Bergerac is all about its words. And, in this stripped back version where only a few microphones and a couple of chairs make up the staging, director of the moment, Jamie Lloyd allows the rhymes to really sing.
With actors verbally sparring across the stage and the aforementioned microphones used as lyrical swords, this production of Cyrano de Bergerac has a 'spoken word night' feel to it (complete with onstage beatboxer) and is an entirely refreshing night out at the theatre. This too is mirrored by its diverse cast, where received pronunciation and south-London dialects mingle to create an ever-fluctuating and stimulating cadence.
Of course, the star of this show is James McAvoy, and he reminds us just how incredible he is, although it is a little tricky to get to grips with the notion that he's meant to be "ugly". But, it's not he alone that makes this production so great. Anita-Joy Uwajeh stuns with her complex take as love interest Roxeanne and Tom Edden delights with his comically camp take on villain, De Guiche. The supporting cast too are excellent and work together like a well-oiled machine to create an ensemblist utopia.
Although its base material is still dazzling Jamie Lloyd's production transforms the 19th-century masterpiece into a 21st-century delight. Coupled with a stellar cast, and crew, this version of Cyrano de Bergerac is nothing like you've ever seen before.
View our show pages for more information about Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre.
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