Multi-award-winning Northern Broadsides have joined forces with the highly acclaimed New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, to embark on a UK tour of Cyrano, an exciting new adaptation by award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew (An August Bank Holiday Lark) of Edmond William’s classic romantic comedy Cyrano de Bergerac.
Here’s an exclusive interview with Francesca Mills from the show…
Thank you for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about the production of Cyrano.
The production of Cyrano is based on a man called Cyrano de Bergerac and he is a poet, a swordsman, a musician, everything you could possibly want but he’s got this massive nose which people perceive as ghastly so it knocks his confidence. He’s secretly in love with his cousin, Roxanne but they get on really well s friends and she’s the most beautiful girl in town so he thinks he stands no chance. She falls in love with Christian de Neuvillette, a cadet who is not able to impress Roxanne with poetry, he doesn’t know how to talk to girls. Cyrano teams up with Christian and puts words into Christian’s mouth which he delivers to Roxanne.
Were you familiar with the script?
I’d never come across the show before, but then since I’ve been doing it I’ve realised what a popular, well known story it is. I’ve fallen in love with the show it’s fantastic.
You’ve performed at Derby Theatre before in See How They Run…
Yes, with The Reduced Theatre Company, I remember Derby Theatre providing the best audience we had on that tour.
How do you think the space at The Derby Theatre will lend itself to this production of Cyrano?
Cyrano at the beginning is set in a Playhouse and as I recall, Derby is quite an intimate space which will lend itself well as that breaks the fourth wall between the audience and the performers.
What led you into a performing career?
I danced from a very young age, as a hobby really and I loved it – I came to the stage where I’d be in a dance contest every night if I could! They were holding open summer school auditions at The New Vic Theatre (where we started this production of Cyrano) they wanted kids for a production of Oliver and I got through. That was where I met actors that were doing it as a job and it made me realise I could do it as a job too. I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to do so that was exactly what I was going to do.
Finally, what would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket to see the show?
My mum saw it six times and that isn’t my mum being biased, she thinks it’s fantastic and it makes her cry every time. It will make you feel every emotion possible, so book a ticket to see Cyrano and you won’t regret it!
Thanks so much to Fran for her time, it was lovely to chat to her and we wish cast and crew all the best with the run.