Birmingham REP noses ahead with Edmond de Bergerac

Published: 9 March 2019

Birmingham REP is getting ready to show audiences the man behind the nose and the comedy behind the celebrated story of Cyrano de Bergerac in the UK première of Edmond de Bergerac.

Alexis Michalik’s comedy won five Molière Awards and continues to play to packed houses in Paris at the Theatre du Palais-Royale. In Birmingham it will receive its English language première in a translation by Jeremy Sams.

Birmingham REP’s artistic director Roxana Silbert will direct a cast led by Freddie Fox as Edmond Rostand alongside Henry Goodman as Constant Coquelin, Josie Lawrence as Sarah Bernhardt and Chizzy Akudulo as Maria.

The cast also comprises Gina Bramhill (Jeanne), Nick Cavaliere (Ange Floury), Luke Elliott (Stanislavsky), Simon Gregor (Marcel), Harry Kershaw (Jean), David Langham (Lucien), Robin Morrissey (Léo), Sarah Ridgeway (Rosemonde) and Anna Piper (ensemble).

Set in Paris in 1897, Edmond de Bergerac features playwright Edmond Rostand approaching his 30th birthday with no new plays but a whole lot of worries. He has not written anything in two years and in desperation has promised a new play to acting superstar Constant Coquelin.

A desperate Edmond draws on his problems to write a new comedy. It will be an “unbelievable” tale about the demands of his producers, the whims of the actresses, the jealousy of his wife, his doubting colleagues and the romantic adventures of his best friend.

Michalik wrote and directed Edmond in 2016 and the play has celebrated its 800th performance in Paris.

The UK production will be designed by Robert Innes Hopkins. Movement director is Liam Steel and composer is Dave Price. Sound design is by Dan Hoole and lighting design by Rick Fisher. Voice director is Stephen Kemble, casting director is Amy Ball and Jack McMahon is the assistant director.

Edmond de Bergerac runs at Birmingham REP from Friday 15 until Saturday 30 March. It then tours to York Grand Opera House, Northampton’s Royal and Derngate, Cambridge Arts Theatre and Richmond Theatre until 4 May.

Steve Orme