Stage Door Review 2019

Cyrano de Bergerac

Jul 5, 2019

✭✭

by Sean Jacklin & Jack Rennie, directed by Jack Rennie

The Leslieville Players, Toronto Fringe Festival, 74 Jones Ave., Toronto

July 4-14, 2019

If you’re looking for 50 minutes of very silly fun, then check out the Leslieville Players’ production of Cyrano de Bergerac. The classic 1897 play of that title by Edmond Rostand serves simply as an outline for about half of the show’s action which is much like a panto but without the songs or audience participation.

The story still concerns the poet and swordsman Cyrano, who loves Roxanne but thinks his gigantic nose makes him unlovable. When he hears Roxanne and the handsome Christian are interested in each other, Cyrano helps the tongue-tied Christian woo her.

The company makes no pretense of presenting Rostand’s play. From the start, director, stage manager and prompter Jack Rennie (formerly a principal dancer for Opera Atelier) tells the audience that the show will not be “normal” theatre. The cast has deliberately rehearsed for only four days. Rennie gives any actor who forgets a line not only the line but a blast from a Super Soaker.

In addition, cast member Kevin Forster doesn’t find out what role he is playing until Rennie draws it from a hat. At the performance I saw, Forster had to play Roxanne, which meant the usual Roxanne, Jocelyn Adema, became “Christine.” Sean Jacklin played his usual role as Cyrano with panache, despite his penile nose, like an idealist caught in an absurd world.

Runtime: 50 minutes 

Christopher Hoile

Note: This review appeared in NOW Magazine on July 5, 2019.

Photo: Annie Tuma, Sean Jacklin as Cyrano, Lena Maripuu, and Andrew Cameron. © 2019 Daniel Benoit.

For tickets, visit fringetoronto.com.