Wit, energy and panache; all adjectives often associated with Northern Broadsides.
The Yorkshire-based company was established a quarter of a century ago by Barrie Rutter to tell the stories of Shakespeare in the Northern voice.
These days it does a little more than just Shakespeare, updating classic texts and giving them a Northern swagger. Over the past decade the company has turned to former actor Deborah McAndrew for the script updates – and she has delivered, something she does again with her script for Cyrano.
An adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, McAndrew’s script is at turns epic and intimate, funny and profound and seriously beautiful.
The hero of the story believes himself not to be beautiful. Despite his rapier wit, his wit with a rapier and his feats of derring-do, Cyrano can’t see past the end of his very long nose. Nor, he believes, will the object of his affection Roxane.
She falls in love with the heart across the bridge alongside the sound of the bridge, its weather and traffic. The piece was created by Norwegian jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen, electronic musician Jan Bang and guitarist Eivind Aarset combining orchestral and choral music with field recordings made by Hull sound artist Jes riley French.
Glenn Ibbitson: Leeds artist Glenn Ibbitson returns to his home town to present a range of fine art catalogues, artist’s books and graphic novels at the International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair at the Tetley this weekend. Though known for his portraiture and accomplished paintings of circus performers, book of the poet Cyrano, but the face of his cipher Christian. Cyrano, the ultimate selfless hero, writes increasingly passionate missives to the woman he loves until she is in raptures, deeply in love with the wrong man. It is a beautiful story and hinges entirely on the performance of Cyrano.
The man with the nose is played with a sense of enormous energy and great pathos by Christian Edwards. The chemistry between him and Sharon Singh’s Roxane is compelling.
Opening at Stoke’s New Vic Theatre before going on a national tour, Cyrano is a perfect example art has given Ibbitson the opportunity to work with a medium which sparked his initial interest in the visual arts. “As a boy, I squandered my pocket money on American superhero comics,” he
Batley celebration: Batley may be about to find its own West End superstar with the arrival of
West End director Nick Evans to stage a production of Les Misérables School Edition this summer in Blakeridge Mill. This unique event will feature a cast and crew of local young people, aged 13-19, to celebrate the life of MP Jo
Cox. Les Misérables was Jo’s favourite musical and the performances will take place in her former constituency of Batley & Spen. Auditions are on March 11 and 12. Anyone interested should go along to St Mary’s Social Club, Batley.
ROMANCE: Northern Broadsides’ Cyrano is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse this week.
SOUNDSCAPE: Jazz musician Arve Henriksen at the Humber Bridge in Hull.