Monday, July 04, 2016


The Company
at the Weald and Downland Museum

This familiar tale seems very much at home in the medieval village at the heart of this lovely open-air museum. Upper windows, stairs, shop fronts are all pressed into service in a gripping promenade production, directed by Stephen Israel.
There are six actor-musicians, plus a community chorus. Their role is to play actors, troops etcetera, and provide a modern commentary. While it is interesting to hear their thoughts on social media and Shrek, for example, their sweary teen-speak sits uneasily with John Wells's witty literary adaptation of the Rostand original.
Stuart Goodwin is a wonderful Cyrano, all swagger and panache on the surface, but vulnerable and tender-hearted underneath it all.
Matt Devitt [late of the Queen's Hornchurch] is the Comte de Guiche, Mike Simmonds is Carbon, and the show's MD. Dashing young Christian is engagingly played by Nicholas Bendall, while Roxane, his beloved, is Roxane Stuchbury,
A great comedy creation from Michael Webber as pastry-cook poet Rageneau, hilariously interacting with his audience, ad-libbing and distributing buns.
A memorable couple of hours – beginning in beautiful July sunshine for the optimistic opening scenes, but ending, with Cyrano's sad demise in the nunnery orchard, in chill, persistent rain.

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