Edmond Rostand’s tragi-comic original is respected in a production that is not afraid to foreground the ‘beauty is only skin deep’ theme and combine 17th century musketeers with racy modern allusions.
Apart from Cyrano himself (Christian Edwards), Roxane (Sharon Singh) and Christian (Adam Barlow), cast members are called on to fulfil multiple roles, as well as play a variety of musical instruments.
Christian Edwards, as the eponymous hero, is all charisma, wit and charm.
Sadly, he has convinced himself that his over large nose disqualifies him from ever aspiring to be loved by the beautiful Roxane.
Cyrano is complemented by the inept, but handsome, Christian.
Roxane is drawn to Christian’s good looks, but it requires the intervention of Cyrano’s words to turn her infatuation into love.
So which one does she really care for? If the stating of that question is the comedy, the resolution takes us to tragedy.
Director and composer Conrad Nelson keeps a steady hand on a large cast that has multiple exits and entrances.
The music is used in context (for example, tavern scenes) and the decision to keep Lignier (the delightful and engaging Michael Hugo) beyond the point that Rostand dispenses with him, pays off handsomely.
How often, on the modern stage, do we see a large cast in first-rate period costume?
This is what Northern broadsides do well and represents, yet again, excellent value for money.
Cyrano continues at the Stephen Joseph Theatre until Saturday April 8.
Performances are Wednesday April 5 at 7.30pm, Thursday April 6 at 1.30pm and 7pm, Friday April 7 at 7.30pm and Saturday April 8 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
Tickets from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com