Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Christian Edwards, Sharon Singh, Adam Barlow, Andrew Whitehead, Andy Cryer, Paul Barnhill, Angela Bain, Jessica Dyas, Francesca Mills, Anthony Hunt, Robert Wade, Perry Moore, Michael Hugo.
It is always a match made in heaven, a sense of theatrical gold in which Liverpool audiences always receive so much in terms of gratification, of charm and a story in which you leave the building knowing you have seen theatre at its most complete, personable and down to Earth; no matter the subject, Northern Broadsides and Liverpool theatres are blessed with each other’s company and it is one in which people instinctively know is going to make their week.
Northern Broadsides have always managed to bring something very special to the proceedings when they come to the city, be it in the Playhouse or the new Everyman and their adaption, written by the superb Deborah McAndrew, of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is once more a play of eloquence, style and unfaltering charisma.
Cyrano brings out the very best in Northern Broadsides players, under the watchful eye of Director and Composer Conrad Nelson the company bring the tale of the 17th Century polymath, expert swordsman and man of beautiful words to life and don’t hold back on extenuating the virtues of someone brimming with love but whose rather large proboscis hinders him from any meaningful engagement. The romantic comedy is perfect for a troupe such as Northern Broadsides, the balance between placing before an audience a show with humanity and pathos and one on which the skill of the performer is unquestioned and held up as an example of just what an actor can achieve without having to sell their soul, is arguably never better in the hands of a company that cares.
With Christian Edwards in absolute form as the heroic Cyrano and aided by the talismanic Michael Hugo and Sharon Singh, Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation is something to behold, a play of words in which rivals in many ways the adaptations penned by the great wit and observations of Roger McGough over the years.
Once more Northern Broadsides tickle the funny bone of theatre in Cyrano, a play in which the audience cannot but help feel the insanity of rejecting someone on looks whilst grasping the very beauty they hold underneath their skin for all that it is worth. A truly wonderful piece of theatre, magical and so very human; its passion caught for all its worth by a company who understand just what it means to hold such works up to the light.
Ian D. Hall