Northern Broadsides are set to start off their 25th anniversary year by joining forces with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, to stage Cyrano, a new adaptation by award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew (An August Bank Holiday Lark) of Edmond Rostand’s classic romantic comedy Cyrano de Bergerac.
Directed by NB resident director Conrad Nelson, the adaptation will premiere at the New Vic from February before touring nationally until May.
Set in the golden age of musketeers, Deborah McAndrew’s lively new adaptation brings fresh vigour to this swashbuckling tale of unrequited love.
Add to this Northern Broadsides’ musical panache, acclaimed charisma and exuberant performance style and you have a delightful evening of pure drama that will lift your spirits and make your heart ache.
Director Conrad Nelson said: “The adaptation embraces the poeticism of Rostand’s drama, but does not confine itself to regular rhyming couplets of the original.
“Poetry and prose combine in this vibrant, funny, romantic and heartbreaking adaptation. Debbie McAndrew has created a carefully crafted version that marries the energy and vibrancy of youth with the romance and classicism of the original.
“This is an ideal combination for Northern Broadsides of a classic play and a contemporary adaptation. It is a process in which McAndrew and I work closely to create a new premiere for the stage and celebrates a fourth foreign language collaboration featuring a bespoke marriage of text, musicality, wit and invention.”
Playwright Deborah McAndrew added about adapting the classic tale: “The original is entirely in verse and follows an Alexandrine form: rhyming couplet lines of twelve syllables. The form was revived by Rostand, having been a highly popular format in French verse during the 17th Century.
“For me sticking to this Alexandrine form proved too much of a tyranny. To slavishly obey one verse format throughout is not flexible enough for me.
“In the end the writer is obliged to make the lines fit the form, which in my view is like the tail wagging the dog.
“Often this results in language that doesn’t sit comfortably in the mouths of actors, and constantly chasing a rhyme is a constraint that threatens to undermine the flow narrative and performance.
“Most of my version is in verse, but I have been far freer with the form, so that each mood, intention and character is served as well as possible. I also drop into prose from time to time, when the requirements are prosaic.
“I hope that the shifting form will serve the actors and help them play each moment to the full.”
Cast: Richard Galazka, Sharon Singh, Angela Bain, Adam Barlow, Paul Barnhill, Andy Cryer, Jessica Dyas, Michael Hugo, Anthony Hunt, Francesca Mills, Perry Moore, Robert Wade and Andrew Whitehead.
Playing the title role will be Richard Galazka who recently appeared as Richard Hannay in the West End production of The 39 Steps.
Cyrano will be the first of three productions Northern Broadsides will be staging to celebrate its 25th anniversary year. In May, the company will be joining forces with Hull Truck Theatre, as part of Hull 2017, for a revival of its first production in 1992 – Richard III.
2017 Tour Dates
February 3-25, New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme
February 28 – March 4, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
March 7-11, Watford Palace Theatre
March 14-25, Liverpool Playhouse
March 28 – April 1, The Dukes, Lancaster
April 4-8, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
April 11-15, York Theatre Royal
April 18-22, The Lowry, Salford Quays
April 25-29, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
May 2-6, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
May 9-13, The Viaduct Theatre, Halifax
May 16-20, Derby Theatre
May 23-27, Oxford Playhouse