29 April to 16 May 2015
Reviewed by Amy Jones
Last night we were entertained by the Royal & Derngate and Northern Stage interpretation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (translation by Anthony Burgess). It centres around the story of Cyrano who displays all the heroic qualities of characters from the time of the three musketeers – swordsmanship, honour, and courage as well as a mastery of language, delivering this all with unrivalled panache. The catch for him is he feels he is judged solely for his “ugliness” – his huge nose and deems himself unworthy of being loved. He helps his handsome (but stupid) friend win the heart of his true love with the beauty of his letters and words of love – and only realising too late that he has helped lesser men reap the rewards of his hard work.
Nigel Barrett gives a fantastic performance as Cyrano and really brings his character to life. In many ways he is an anti-hero – making fun of all those around him he deems false, yet also hiding who he really is behind a mask as he’s afraid people won’t love him, but Nigel plays him with such panache that you really do feel that it doesn’t matter that you fall, it’s how you do it that counts.
The play is witty in parts and has an underlying humour the whole way through, even at times where the scene was quite serious. I felt this was very clever, and was brought in very naturally.
A great thing about this play is that the ensemble were 6 of Northern Stage NORTH project. This is a project that helps young talented people in the North East gain experience and support via a 21 week paid training programme. I particularly liked James Hunter in his numerous roles – his acting was fantastic and definitely one to watch for the future.
Overall, I would give 4/5 the acting was brilliant throughout and a great version of this classic!
Tickets cost from £12 to £24 (booking fees may apply).
Cyrano de Bergerac is at Northern Stage until 16 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.
Northern Stage, Barras Bridge,Newcastle Upon Tyne,Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RH