The latest Made in Northampton production showing at the Royal & Derngate is Cyrano de Bergerac.
Based on the play by Edmond Rostand, it tells the story of the doomed love between Roxane and Cyrano, a swashbuckling hero. Cyrano was a notorious duellist in the 17th century, a larger-than-life figure with a larger-than-average nose. The story of his life, and his enduring love for Roxanne, is told in rhyming couplets and mixes humour and sadness.
Nigel Barrett plays the nasally-challenged hero and captures his bluster and heartbreak perfectly. Cyrano believes Roxanne, played by Cath Whitefield, could never love him as he is so ugly and his fears are confirmed when she confides in him that she has fallen for a handsome soldier, Christian, played by Chris Jared.
Christian is equally besotted with the beautiful, witty, poetry-loving Roxanne but gets tongue-tied in the presence of women, and admits he cannot find the words to tell Roxanne how he feels. In an effort to help the two young lovers, Cyrano, who is never short of a word or three, suggests that Christian uses his words, leading to love and heartbreak.
The production is a collaboration between the Royal & Derngate and Northern Stage, and the talented young ensemble bring life and gusto to the play. There are moments of humour, tenderness and great sadness.
Writing in the programme, artistic director at Northern Stage, Lorne Campbell, said: “Both Cyrano and Roxanne are profoundly human characters...they are a great tragic couple and the story of their bodged, fumbled and ultimately ruined love delights and despairs me every time I see it.”
Cyrano de Bergerac is at the Royal until Saturday, April 25. For details and tickets go to www.royalandderngate.co.uk