With 16 actors, this lavish production has many more sides to it than just its famous love triangle. To better acquaint ourselves with the cast of characters, we asked the Cyrano de Bergerac ensemble to give us a little insight into who they're playing...
Alan Dukes - Montfleury
Montfleury is a fantastic actor loved by the masses. People come from afar to see him perform but his performance this time is interrupted by Cyrano.
Gabriel Gilbert-Dey - Cuigy/Cadet
Cuigy is a very foppish chap that has come to the theatre for his dose of good times and wild flings. He loves to mingle and gossip.
Cadet Perescue de Colleeryac is a member of the Gascon Cadets loyal to Cyrano and Le Bret and will live and die a Gascon man. He goes to war in Act 4 with the other Cadets.
George Kemp - Brissaille/Cadet
Brissaille is at the theatre to be seen. He cares more about the feathers in his hat than the play he is there to see. The theatre is a social event for him and his companion Cuigy and no doubt their encounter with Christian will provide great gossip fodder.
Cadet Bertrador is not only at war with the Spanish but at war with his stomach. Hunger and homesickness are taking their toll, especially when Cyrano asks him to sing a song from home…
Dale March - Valvert/Cadet
As Valvert has no interest in women, he is the ideal marriage candidate in De Guiche’s plot to ‘get access’ to Roxane. He is a skilled swordsman but his short temper leads him to pick a fight with the wrong guy – Cyrano. Every day of rehearsals begins with an hour-long fight call for Richard and me with Fight Director Nigel Poulton. It’s been a great joy to build the sword skills from the ground up and discover the use of the daily drills in the choeography.
Josh McConville - De Guiche
De Guiche is the villain. In his own play, however, he would be the hero. He serves as a symbol of misguided aristocracy and ineffective leadership, making him an opposing double to Cyrano. He holds dark, dirty sexual fantasies for Roxane and women in general. In terms of Commedia dell’arte archetypes, De Guiche is Il Capitano.
Kenneth Moraleda - Poet/Cadet
Among other characters, I play a poet who is ravenous and takes advantage of Ragueneau’s generosity. Some may take his words and poetry to be simplistic, but the sparseness is a true reflection of his art.
Eryn Jean Norvill - Roxane
Roxane is an orphan. She has spent most of her time alone. Her idea of how the world works has been shaped by books – stories of adventure and love filled with grand gestures. She has come to believe anything is possible and so she expects a lot of the world. But she has yet to look beyond the page in front of her.
Yalin Ozucelik - Le Bret
Le Bret is Cyrano’s closest friend and also, in our production, Captain of the Gascon Cadets. He’s a loyal friend and a pragmatist, encouraging Cyrano to pursue a sensible path through life – without success.
Michael Pigott - Musketeer/Cadet
The Musketeer and the Cadet are either twins separated at birth or the same person, no one really knows. They are both sighted at the siege of Arras and both tragically die there (off stage, while no one is around) like so many of their unnamed brothers.
Richard Roxburgh - Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano is a wild, mercurial spirit who has given his life over to quarrelling and poetry in equal measure. We sense throughout (particularly in conversations with Le Bret) that the source of his obsessive and bellicose nature lies in self-loathing (the source of that of course being his own relationship with his vast nose). When Christian arrives in the Gascon Cadets, Cyrano spies an opportunity to express his love for Roxane vicariously. But of course with such a terrible deception at its core, the results will come back to haunt all the protagonists with dire consequences.
Chris Ryan - Christian
Christian is a young baron from Normandy. Recently arrived in Paris to join the Gascon Cadets, he falls madly in love with the beautiful Roxane. Unfortunately for him, she is incredibly book-smart, and poetry and letter writing are not his strong suits. He doesn’t think he’s a chance until Cyrano offers to write letters for him.
Bruce Spence - Lignière/Nun
Lignière is a poet, a rebel and a drunkard. He loves Cyrano, who fights on his behalf when he gets into trouble with his outspoken poems. He is a very good friend of Ragueneau as well.
Emily Tomlins - Lise/Sister Marthe
Lise is Ragueneau’s wife. She is serious about baking and works incredibly hard while Ragueneau spends his time writing poetry. This is a great source of contention. Another source is the constant flow of poets who traipse through the bakery eating pastries but not paying for them. Lise needs a cup of tea and a good lie down.
Sister Marthe is an incredibly pious young woman. She loves to sit with Roxane and be teased by Cyrano. She holds herself personally responsible for his religious well-being. Her weakness is food and, although she has committed to a life of poverty, an extra serving of prunes when no one is looking makes her extremely happy.
Aaron Tsindos - Cook/Cadet
I think, in his heart, Cadet is scared. He is scared of the future – his hopes, his dreams, pressure to succeed from his family. If it weren’t for Christian, Cadet #4 would be lost, literally and metaphorically.
Cook has a secret crush on Ragueneau’s wife but the crippling fear caused by his insecurities prevents him from speaking his heart. His is a sad story, but in that story is a lesson of hope.
David Whitney - Ragueneau
I first performed in this play 30 years ago and am thrilled to do it again. Ragueneau is a baker by trade but a poet by desire. He lives for poetry and adores all poets, especially Cyrano, to whom he is devoted. Ragueneau has some moments in which baking and poetry come together to create high performance art involving eggs and sugar. A creamy mix!
Julia Zemiro - Duenna/Sister Claire
Sister Claire is a novice who thinks Molière is exciting and Cyrano a dreamboat.
Duenna is Roxane’s chaperone and confidante. In my mind, she’s been caring for Roxane since she was a child. She’s preparing her for the outside world and for love. This will involve a duet in French and some rose petals. Our corsets will be tight and our wigs elaborate.
Cyrano de Bergerac, 11 Nov - 20 Dec 2014, Sydney Theatre