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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Preview: Cyrano de Bergerac at Newcastle Northern Stage



A poet, a soldier, a brawler...
and a hopeless romantic

 A Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Northern Stage co-production
Cyrano de Bergerac
Based on the translation written by Anthony Burgess
of the play written by Edmond Rostand
Directed by Lorne Campbell

Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Friday 3 – Saturday 25 April

Northern Stage, Newcastle
Wednesday 29 April to Saturday 16 May

Director Lorne Campbell
with Kylie Ann Ford
Photo: Mark Savage
Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton 2015 season starts in April with the sweeping epic, Cyrano de Bergerac. Directed by Lorne Campbell, Anthony Burgess’ translation of Edmund Rostand’s classic play is a co-production with Northern Stage, and takes to the Royal stage in Northampton from Friday 3 April, transferring to Newcastle from 29 April.

A poet and a soldier, a brawler and an incurable romantic, Cyrano do Bergerac is a hero – the first among men but totally lost among women. He is blessed with being brilliant at everything and cursed by having the biggest nose in all of France.

Cyrano is hopelessly in love with Roxane, his equal in wit but every bit as beautiful as he is ugly. Afraid of confessing his love, he becomes a protector and confidante. Christian, a handsome cadet but not the sharpest sword in the armoury, catches Roxane’s eye and, with his mighty heart breaking, Cyrano sets about using his unequalled skill as a poet to write ravishing love letters between the two.

The panache of one of literature’s most famous love triangles is brought to life in this epic production, staged with passion, bravado, joy and heartache. Duels are fought, honour defended, villains defeated, and cakes eaten.

Lorne Campbell, Chris Jared and George Potts
Photo: Mark Savage
Cyrano de Bergerac is directed by Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell, who comments: “Cyrano is scaled up in every way, not just his nose, but his bravery and his vulnerability, his honour and his self-loathing, his soaring poetry and his profound inarticulacy. This is what I love about the play, it takes that ridiculous deluded mess of a person we all carry around inside ourselves and lets them out onto the stage, bigger and better while also more absurd and crippled than we could ever be.”

James Hunter and Nigel Barrett
with director Lorne Campbell
Photo: Mark Savage
Lorne, whose credits include Carthage Must Be Destroyed and Distracted at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, will be working with designer Jean Chan (James and the Giant Peach, Dundee Rep, The James Plays, National Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland as Associate Designer). Lighting design is by Tim Lutkin who recently won an Olivier for Chimerica, with other credits including The Crucible (Old Vic), Royal & Derngate’s Christmas show Merlin and The Go-Between, a co-production between Royal & Derngate, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Derby Theatre. Sound design is by Alasdair Mcrae whose recent work includes Get Santa! and The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project for Northern Stage and Gastronauts for the Royal Court.

Nigel Barrett and James Hunter
rehearse a fight scene
Photo: Mark Savage
Nigel Barrett whose credits include There Has Possibly Been An Incident, Royal Exchange Manchester/ SohoTheatre, Richard III – An Arab Tragedy, for RSC/Bouffes du Nord and The Passion with Michael Sheen, takes the central role of Cyrano. Nigel is a member of the Shunt Collective and recently won The Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award 2015 with Louise Mari. Cath Whitefield (Electra, The Gate, Othello, RSC) appears as Roxane and Chris Jared (All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, RSC) completes the legendary love triangle as Christian. The cast also includes John Paul Connolly (Twelfth Night, Richard III, Shakespeare’s Globe, West End and Broadway) as Le Bret/Ligniere and George Potts (1984, Headlong Theatre; The Silver Tassie, National Theatre) as De Guiche/Rageneau.

Cyrano company movement
rehearsals with Liv Lorent, Movement Director
Photo: Mark Savage
The Chorus is made up of six emerging performers from Northern Stage’s NORTH scheme – a 21 week paid training programme to support and develop young actors in the North East of England. Lorne Campbell explains, “NORTH is part of Northern Stage’s commitment to creating access and opportunities for working class actors with exceptional talent, so we’re delighted that they’re working with us on our big spring production this year.” Kylie Ann Ford, Sisley Henning, Sian Armstrong, Samantha Bell, James Hunter and Matt Howdon will take on dozens of ensemble roles.

Creative Team:
Lorne Campbell Director
Jean Chan Designer
Tim Lutkin Lighting Designer
Alasdair Mcrae Sound Designer
Ros Steen Voice Director
Liv Lorent Movement Director
Rebecca Frecknall Assistant Director

Cast:
Nigel Barrett Cyrano de Bergerac
John Paul Connolly Le Bret/Ligniere
Chris Jared Christian
George Potts De Guiche/Rageneau
Cath Whitefield Roxane

Ensemble:
Sian Armstrong                    Samantha Bell            Kylie Ann Ford
Sisley Henning                      Matt Howdon              James Hunter

Tickets:
Cyrano de Bergerac can be seen at Royal & Derngate, Northampton from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 April and at Northern Stage from Wednesday 29 to Saturday 16 May www.northernstage.co.uk.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP
Dates: Friday 3 to Saturday 25 April 2015
Times: Evenings 7.45pm (except Tuesday 7 April 7pm)
Matinees – Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm
No performances on Sundays
Tickets: £10 to £29*
Box Office: 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk 
A transaction fee of £2.80 applies to telephone and website bookings only. Does not apply in person, or to Groups and Friends, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 7RH
Dates: Wednesday 29 April to Saturday 16 May 2015
Times: Evenings 7.30pm (except Monday 11 May 6pm)
Matinees – Saturday 2pm
No performances on Sundays
Tickets: £24, £19.50 & £14.50 / Students & U21s £12
Box Office: 0191 230 5151 or online at www.northernstage.co.uk

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