James McAvoy gave a bravura performance as Cyrano de Bergerac, the man with the gigantuan nose protecting his wounded heart behind a bristling, adrenaline-fuelled aggression. In a competitive world obsessed with appearance, the chip on Cyrano’s shoulder is as big as his nose. McAvoy’s Cyrano is alpha male, excelling equally in warcraft and word-play, but his fear of ridicule is so great he recoils when the object of his desire, Roxanne, reaches to touch his face.
This is a stripped-down production in contemporary dress which makes the words do the heavy-lifting. As the actor McAvoy has said, it exposes the heart-breakingly sad story of three people suffering loneliness and objectification in this cruel world where even the winners are victims too. All the actors were immensely watchable, especially Anita-Joy Uwajeh as Roxanne and Nima Taleghani as Ligniere.
And the good news is – stunning productions like this broadcast live by the National Theatre will continue to be shown at Catford Mews, our very-own multi-screen cinema and bar. There are street-food stalls too; admittedly only one was open when we were there but it did the job with tasty vegan plates. A great evening.