Thursday, 2 March 2017

You know what they say

"A large nose is the mark of a witty, courteous, affable, generous and liberal man."
 And so to the theatre. I have been to see Northern Broadsides take on Rostand's 'Cyrano de Bergerac'. You possibly know the plot from the rather good film starring Gérard Depardieu or from Steve Martin's modern day update. If you are from the UK and of a certain age however your first exposure to it may have been the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special in 1977; it was the one where Angela Ripon danced in the chorus line. Anyway, the play what Ernie wrote was 'Cyrano de Bergerac' and featured Penelope Keith and Francis Matthews (a) although the title role was naturally taken by Eric.

"What would it take for you to kiss me?" "Chloroform."

Of course, none of that has any relevance to the current version, which I liked very much. I am pleased to report that it was played straight and set in the seventeenth century as intended. It mixed both humour and deep sadness with the music and dancing for which the company are known and threw in some sword fighting for good measure. The prosthetic nose was most impressive. In an amusing twist Cyrano makes his first appearance at the back of the auditorium and his first few speeches are made from behind the audience. I'm pretty sure that everyone else also wanted to turn round to see the nose, but, like me, didn't want to be the first to do so.

(a) Surely best known as the voice of Captain Scarlet.

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