Cyrano de Bergerac. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Cyrano de Bergerac

Yon Cyrano has a muckle great neb, and this yin's a pure dead brilliant show.

You're immersed from the start in glorious rhyming Scots with Edwin Morgan's seminal translation, and it combines with the semi-industrial but inventive set design pulls you into this cracking piece of theatre completely. Brian Ferguson as Cyrano dominates almost effortlessly with physicality of movement and the poetry of his language, and carries off this highly demanding role superbly.

Jessica Hardwick, as the object of Cyrano's desire, Roxanne, sparkles and performs with true panache. Pam Hogg's costumes for all of the accomplished ensemble cast give this classic story an invigorating visual punch, and the whole is set off spectacularly with Tom Piper's set design.

The programme contains a fascinating 'History of Nine-and-a-half noses' by Susan Mansfield which tells the story of this astonishingly successful and influential verse drama, noting that applause was still continuing an hour after the curtain fell when this play was first performed in 1897. Saturday night's audience were just as welcoming, applauding and whooping generously, if not quite at such length.

Cyrano de Bergerac. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Cyrano de Bergerac. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

There is also a great deal of music and movement, with the ensemble cast taking to instruments on stage fluently and melodiously throughout, and the choreography, especially when we meet the Gascons, is quite gorgeous.

This ugly duckling tale is of course a classic love triangle, and the 'balcony' scene where Cyrano first plunges into his language with true passion for the first time, is a superb moment in theatre, with Scott Mackie playing the 'handsome but desperately thick' Christian to a tee.

This is a long show, and demands a great deal from the actors on stage, but their energy and focus never falters for a moment. Returning after the interval, the audience sees a stage has inventively re-set for the theatre of war, and the action moves forward with real energy and style throughout.

But it is the language and poetry of this piece, with the music of the Scots tongue and the gritty clarity of Glaswegian dialect that lifts this performance - it is simply beautiful to hear. The story is of course all about the seductive power of words, and, oh , yes, it seduces completely, and the language fills the theatre with an electrifying clarity.

Glorious to hear and see, this is a seminal piece of theatre performed by a stellar cast in a gorgeously staged production: Pure dead brilliant.

★★★★ 4 stars

 

Performances

12 October - 3 November 2018

EVENINGS, 7:30pm
Tuesday - Saturdays

MATINEES from 13 October, 2pm
Wednesdays and Saturdays

Running time:
Approximately 3 hours, including one 20 minute interval

Accessibility
Creative Learning Events

Cyrano de Bergerac

£10-£32
8

Rating

8.0/10

Plus +

  • Glorious Language
  • Astonishing Costumes
  • Gorgeous Staging and Set

About David Petherick

David Petherick is the owner of edinburghfestival.org and was born in, and lives, in Edinburgh. He is a writer, marketer and tweeter and is also "Doctor LinkedIn". Follow @edinburghfest for festival news and updates and @petherick for personal news and views. David has previously worked as UK Editor for The Next Web.

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