Whilst we inhabit this very Kardashian century, saturated with social media and image, attraction is never more than skin deep and style trumps substance at every turn. Enter Cyrano de Bergerac to prove that this notion is at best only half true. It’s the great love story where soldier/poet Cyrano de Bergerac falls in love with the beautiful intellectual Roxanne – but can she see past the schnoz? Enter Christian who has the looks but not the charm and much less the mind.
This version of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 classic was first brought to the stage four years ago by independent theatre company Sport For Jove, winning rave reviews and the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Independent Production. This adaptation, written and directed by Damien Ryan, moves the setting from seventeenth century Paris to the Belle Époque era, and the beginning of The Great War.
Cyrano embodies the powerful, individual spirit, crushed by a world that barely tolerates difference. He is at once brilliant and lost, a romantic and full of self-loathing. Rostand was clearly inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but in Cyrano de Bergerac there are two Romeo’s beneath Juliet’s balcony and only together do they make the perfect man. After all, two’s company – three’s a crowd.
Full of profoundly human concerns, like what is love and what happens to love when we get past its clichés and false ideals? It was an overwhelming triumph from its first performance. Maybe for those who want to live, love and take some chances.
Jun 15-24, Thu–Sat 7:30pm, Thursday 15th 11:30, Saturday 24th 1:30pm. York Theatre, Seymour Centre, Cnr City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale. $25-$49. Tickets & Info: www.seymourcentre.com or PH: 9351 7940
By Greg Webster.