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Cyrano De Bergerac


Harold Pinter Theatre

Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN 0844 871 7622

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  • Synopsis
  • Theatremonkey show opinion
  • Reader reviews
  • Performance schedule
  • Ticket prices

CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND NUDITY. NOT SUITABLE FOR THOSE AGED UNDER 12 OR THE EASILY OFFENDED.
From 3rd February until 12th March 2022.
Audio Described performance: 20th February 2022 at 2.30pm
Captioned performance: 27th February 2022 at 2.30pm

Can a huge heart (and even bigger nose) win the fair Roxane?

Martin Crimp's new version of the French classic stars James McAvoy. Jamie Lloyd directs. A second chance to see the production first seen at the Playhouse Theatre in 2020.

(seen during the previous run at the Playhouse Theatre at the afternoon performance on 1st February 2020). Some actors have now left the cast.
This is about words, beautiful words. A theatrical experiment rather than the story-telling we are used to. Yes, you get the bones of the story and it's easy enough to follow most of the time, but mainly it is about ideas and not the original play.

Michele Austin is Leila Rageneeau a teacher, Adam Best is Le Bret, a commander. The yin and the yang. One extracts poetry, the other revenge.

The rest are either Leila's students or Le Bret's soldiers. The crossover is the relationships between men and women, including the Cyrano (James McAvoy) / Roxane (Anita-Joy Uwajeh) / Christian (Eben Figueiredo) triangle.

Everything plays out on an almost bare stage, microphones and beatbox (Vaneeka Dadhria) setting the tone and rhythm. The seduction scene is simple and particularly effective.

Performances are universally fine, the trio standing out (McAvoy acknowledging "in character" audience acclaim at one point). Good support from the tribal leaders mentioned, and noticeable work too from Carla Harrison-Hodge as student Denise and Philip Cairns as Jean Paul.

Somewhat overlong, and if you are used to theatrical tricks and techniques there's nothing new. The difference is the way director Jamie Lloyd deploys his troup - literally at times. Probably going to irritate purists, but for those willing to make the leap into the world of the hippest hip-hop it's a whole new approach well worth catching.

Legacy reader reviews

(From the previous run at the Playhouse Theatre). Some actors have now left the cast.

What we could see of the play was great but had to sit forward and lean over the whole show. I’m only 5’4 and my legs were squashed against the chair in front.

I was emailed on Wednesday (tickets for Saturday) to say I’d been given a partial refund and would get a free drink and programme. I accepted this after phoning to see if there were better seats available - but obviously, that close to the show, there wasn’t.
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Arrived for Cyrano de Bergerac at 6.30am this morning (15th February 2020) and was 3rd in the queue. 1st person arrived around 6.10am, and there were maybe 20-25 people by the time the box office opened. Amazing show though, well worth having to getting up in the middle of the night!
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A stunning night of theatre. Through Jamie Lloyd’s skilful direction on an almost bare stage along with Martin Crimp’s remarkable script we are told Cyrano’s story through verse, rap and wordplay.

All of the cast were superb from Anita-Joy Uwajeh’s strong, beautiful Roxanne; Eben Figueiredo’s streetwise yet innocent Christian; Michele Austin’s comforting yet inspiring Leila - not forgetting the talented beatboxer.

However, the plaudits are quite rightly for James McAvoy. Hard to imagine anyone not being impressed by his vocal agility in the rap and use of verse. He is also a physical performer (too beautiful?) and he used his body, his face and his voice to dominate the stage. He showed humour, tenderness and power (not to mention his ability to switch from Glaswegian to British Asian London street accent). He delivered moments of stillness that held the audience’s attention with such intensity that it seemed almost disruptive to breathe.

This was a play about words and McAvoy used them in such a way that it’s that it’s hard to imagine any other actor equalling his performance. Phenomenal. 

 

The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 2.30pm
NO MONDAY PERFORMANCES.

Runs 2 hours 50 minutes approximately.

 

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

Harold Pinter Theatre price seating plan

A number of seats at £15 will be available under some sort of "access" scheme announced nearer the time. The monkey will update as available. 

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