CYRANO DE BERGERAC by Edmond Rostand. Translated and adapted by Anthony Burgess with additional poetry by Twm Morys at Theatr Clwyd. Directed by Phillip Breen.
Cyrano de Bergerac; soldier, fighter, lover, and prodigious wordsmith, is desperately in love with Roxane – but he’s got the biggest nose that anyone has ever seen. Christian is beautiful in every aspect, he too loves Roxane, but he’s taciturn, tongue-tied, dumbstruck; in Roxane’s presence he cannot find the words. With Christian’s looks and Cyrano’s poetry the two set about wooing her as the perfect lover. But for Roxane is this all too good to be true? After all, what is more important in a man, his body or his soul? What happens when there aren’t words for the very thing you want to say? And what happens when you lose yourself in translation?
A fully Welsh ensemble reinterpret this classic of the French language in English, with some new Welsh language poetry by Twm Morys. Set in ‘Three Musketeers’ era Paris, against the backdrop of war, comic and tragic in equal measure, Cyrano de Bergerac is one of the most epic love stories of all time.
Marc Rhys is in the cast of Cyrano de Bergerac and he recently took time out to answer a few questions about the show.
What attracted you to this production?
There were several things that drew me to Theatr Clwyd’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Firstly, the theatre itself was a big attraction. A very prestigious history mixed with an exciting new energy under the new artistic directorship of Tamara Harvey.
With such an amazing cast and creative team, it was almost a no brainer. There wasn’t really anything that would hold me back from a job like this. And what young boy, growing up, doesn’t dream of being in the era of the musketeers and playing with swords? It’s an ideal job!
Can you tell us about rehearsals?
I don’t want to give too much away about the show as it really is a spectacle that deserves to be witnessed, so buy your tickets and come and see for yourself. However I can say that the rehearsals are going extremely well, with the amazing director Phillip Breen at the helm, we are creating a stunning piece of theatre that will have you laughing one second and drying a tear the next.
We are working with the Anthony Burgess translation of the Edmond Rostand play with some Welsh language additions from poet Twm Morris and music by Dyfan Jones. It is simply beautiful. The Welsh additions only heightens the experience, and I can safely say that any non Welsh speaker will not feel outcast or lost because of the language at any point in the show.
What can you tell us about this all-Welsh company production of Cyrano de Bergerac?
The company has such a powerful bond already, it’s like we have known each other for years, and for many of the cast that is the case having worked together on several previous jobs. But even as a newcomer, to this theatre and company, I feel an immense attachment to both the people involved and the play itself.
The respect and concentration in the room is unbelievable. It really is a privilege to work with this group and creatively I feel like I have hit the jackpot. Working alongside Steffan Rhodri (Cyrano) and Sara Lloyd Gregory (Roxanne) both superb actors and Phillip Breen directing the socks off this play, we are pushing ourselves and discovering new things every day. We are also fortunate enough to have an amazing community chorus, made up of local actors.
How does Theatr Clwyd (and its audience) compare to other theatres you have performed in?
We are still in the middle of rehearsal as I am writing this, and this production will mark my professional debut at Theatr Clwyd, so I can’t really answer that yet, you’ll have to check back in with me once we have opened and I will let you know. Performances run from 14th April – 7th May, with Saturday matinees.
Although, saying that, I have found Welsh audiences to be hugely receptive and immensely intelligent – there is nothing quite like coming home to Wales.
Why should Cyrano de Bergerac be a must-see production?
It literally has something for everyone. This timeless classic has the ultimate love triangle, breathtaking sword fights, lyrical poetry and music, humour in abundance, awe-inspiring costumes and a seriously talented bunch of actors. What more could you possibly want? I would be extremely surprised if anyone left the theatre having not enjoyed yourself. I would most defiantly say this is a must see production. Be sure to book your tickets as they are selling fast!
CYRANO DE BERGERAC
14 April – 7 May 2016