Tamara Harvey’s inaugural season as artistic director at Theatr Clwyd in Mold continues with Cyrano De Bergerac, a swashbuckling romance and classic story of true love.
Cyrano De Bergerac is a soldier, fighter, lover and prodigious wordsmith who is desperately in love with Roxane – but he’s got the biggest nose anyone has ever seen.
Christian also loves Roxane but is taciturn, tongue-tied, dumbstruck; in Roxane’s presence he cannot find the words. With Cyrano’s poetry and Christian’s good looks the two set about wooing her as the perfect lover.
But for Roxane is all this too good to be true? What is more important in a man, his body or his soul?
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, Edmond Rostand’s play is one of the most epic love stories of all time.
Born in 1868, Rostand was a French dramatist in the romantic tradition. Written in 1897, Cyrano De Bergerac was a huge success and remains popular throughout the world. In 1910 Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie Française. He died in the influenza epidemic of 1918.
Cyrano De Bergerac is translated and adapted by Anthony Burgess, who is best known for his dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange. A prolific novelist and screenwriter, his books include the Enderby quartet, Nothing Like The Sun and Earthly Powers.
Additional poetry is by Twm Morys, poet and harpist, who also writes for television and radio, as well as lyrics, which he sings with his folk-rock group, Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion.
After graduating from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, he worked for BBC Radio Cymru and as a lecturer at Rennes University. In addition to three volumes of poetry (Ofn fy Het, 1995; Eldorado, 1999, with Iwan Llwyd; 2, 2002), Morys has written an important body of essays as columnist for various literary reviews.
A son of the writer Jan Morris, he has collaborated with her on the two volumes, Wales, the First Place (Random House, 1982) and A Machynlleth Triad/Triawd Machynlleth (Penguin, 2004). Ein Llyw Cyntaf (Gomer, 2001) is his Welsh adaptation of Jan Morris’s novel Our First Leader.
Twm Morys is the editor of Barddas, Britain’s second best-selling poetry magazine.
Phillip Breen directs. His most recent work includes Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams for Yukio Ninagawa’s Theatre Cocoon in Tokyo (a sell-out production which transferred to Osaka) and True West by Sam Shepard at Glasgow Citizens Theatre and The Tricycle, London.
Phillip trained at Clwyd under Terry Hands, where his shows include Measure For Measure by William Shakespeare, The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter and the première of Two Princes by Meredydd Barker.
Phillip’s other theatre includes highly acclaimed productions of The Shoemaker’s Holiday and The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Royal Shakespeare Company, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg by Peter Nichols and The Resistible Rise of Uturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht for Glasgow Citizens and The Hard Man by Tom McGrath and Jimmy Boyle at The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Next month Phillip will direct The York Mystery Plays in York Minster.
Phillip Breen said: “Cyrano De Bergerac is one of the classics of the European theatre repertoire. It’s hilarious, raucous, romantic and tragic, often all at the same time. With some great songs and beautiful period detail, this all-Welsh ensemble give a unique account of Rostand’s great play in Anthony Burgess’ peerless translation, with new Welsh poetry by Twm Morys.”
Steffan Rhodri plays Cyrano. On BBC TV he starred as Dave Coaches in Gavin and Stacey and his film appearances include Reg Cattermole in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 and Mog Edwards in the 2014 Under Milk Wood, directed by Kevin Allen.
Recent stage appearances include the hit West End comedy The Mentalists by Richard Bean, in which he co-starred with Stephen Merchant, and The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Richard Jones, at The Old Vic.
Steffan is an associate of Theatr Clwyd where his appearances include Leicester in Terry Hands’ production of Mary Stuart.
RELATED STORY: Tamara Harvey is Clwyd Theatr Cymru's new artistic director
Roxane is played by Sara Lloyd-Gregory. Her TV credits include the title role in the S4C series Alys, for which she won a BAFTA Cymru Best Actress Award in 2013. Her theatre credits include Sand (The Other Room, Cardiff), The Opportunity of Efficiency, A Provincial Life, Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre Wales) and Dirty, Gifted and Welsh (Dirty Protest and National Theatre Wales).
Marc Rhys plays Christian. His recent theatre credits include Dracula (Action to the Word - Arts Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Latitude Festival), A Clockwork Orange (Action to the Word - Norway and Singapore tour) and A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Wales Theatre Company/Dylan Thomas Centenary Festival ‘Dylathon’). For television, his work includes Stella; and for film, The Two Dogs and Canaries.
The company includes Simon Holland Roberts, from Mochdre, Conwy, and Victoria John who both starred earlier this season in Mold in Kate Wasserberg’s acclaimed production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller. Steven Elliott, playing the Comte De Guiche, played Roland in the regional premiere of Jumpy at Theatr Clwyd.
The company also includes Wayne Cater, Rhys Parry Jones, Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, Gwawr Loader, Sion Pritchard, Aled Pugh and Dafydd Llyr Thomas. The production also features local children and actors from the community.
Cyrano De Bergerac can be seen from April 14-May 7. Call 01352 701521 or visit www.theatrclwyd.com.