Theatre Review – Cyrano de Bergerac

A while ago I saw on Instagram that a new theatre play was opening in Madrid: Cyrano de Bergerac, by La Nariz de Cyrano company. My interest grew throughout the months as I saw the great reviews it received. So, yesterday I made an impromptus visit to the Reina Victoria Theatre, quite unplanned since I booked it at 11am on the same day. My very central seats cost only 24€, quite cheap compared to other places.

I must admit I knew nothing about Cyrano de Bergerac. So I went to the theatre with no expectations. I’ve read the reviews and the synopsis, but that was not enough to prepare me for what I watched.

This simple, intimate play is one of the best I’ve ever seen! It’s amazing how 7 actors, better yet artists, perform such a magical story, full of heartfelt monologues, witty lines and tenderness. They create a sword fighting, letter writing world that I didn’t want to leave. It’s all incredibly well rehearsed, so the action flows gently in front of our eyes. The stage is simply decorated, with only a few changes, which allows us to enjoy the performance without distractions. Some audiovisual effects are added to help to set the scene, and music is a key factor for it.

It’s all written in Spanish verse, a novelty for me, that sets the mood for the play. And the actors commit to it with such grace and easiness that speaking in verse sounds natural, not a little bit forced. It’s like the whole world speaks in verse, and prose is unnatural.

José Luis Gil, Cyrano himself, is the fantastic leader of the play. His feelings are transparent to the audience, and the tough self-made man, with the audacity and wit of a warrior, shows his emotional side, his anguish and eternal love, with no shame. A wonderful actor behind a wonderful character. Also, Ana Ruiz and Álex Gadea, Roxana and Cristian respectively, have an enormous chemistry. It is easy to fall in love with both of them, these almost star-crossed lovers who are cheated by their own feelings.

All the secondary cast is also worth noting; without their skilled acting, it wouldn’t be possible. A special mention to Rocío Calvo is needed, who adds to the comical relief, so necessary in this almost drama. Her childish yet brave performance is marvellous. Ricardo Joven, as the intrepid baker, is also amazing, adding the extra sugar necessary to the story to unveil. Finally, Carlos Heredia and Javier Ortiz close this array of fantastic Spanish actors.

All in all, this was an incredible experience, opening the world of Spanish verse to me. I would not mind watching it again, reliving these 2 hours of intense love and chivalry.

 

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