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December 2019

Review: Jamie Lloyd exposes James McAvoy in the raw, emotional treat that is Cyrano de Bergerac

The last time Jamie Lloyd directed James McAvoy in a play, he had him riding around the stage on a unicycle in nothing but his pants.

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In Cyrano de Bergerac, their latest collaboration, the trousers stay on (sorry) instead it is deep, raw emotional pain which is laid bare for all to see.

It is a tragic tale of unrequited love. Cyrano has gained acclaim and respect as a skilled soldier but is also beloved as a clever wordsmith baiting the authorities with his biting wit and writing beautiful romantic verse with equal aplomb.

Convinced that the woman he loves - Roxane (Anita-Joy Uwajeh) - will never see past his looks he accelerates his own heartache by helping her and her lover Christian (Eben Figueiredo), a good looking cadet.

Fresh approach

Lloyd's modus operandi is to take a fresh approach to classic plays, adding a contemporary spin while drawing out the deeper emotions and nuances and Cyrano is no exception.

The stage is plain and simple with just a mirror or sometimes a couple of chairs.

Cyrano is reborn as a performance poet. While the actors all have head mics, there are two traditional microphones - a reminder of the 'performance', one of several nods to it in the production.

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