in an adaptation for two lonely characters by Federico Bellini and Antonio Latella
Translated by Francesca Spinazzi
The historical Cyrano de Bergerac lived the life of a dandy, duellist and poet, a philosopher of the early Enlightenment and a science fiction writer in 17th century France. However, rather than his own works he owes his fame more to the 1897 play by the new romantic dramatist Edmond Rostand whose hero bears his name and, like his historical predecessor, is a poet who serves as a musketeer with the Gascony cadets. However, what is probably the second most famous nose in world literature after Pinnochio’s seems to be an invention of the author, as is the fatal love triangle that dominates the play’s narrative: Cyrano loves Roxane but does not dare declare his passion because he is so ugly.
Instead he becomes the ghost writer for his regimental colleague Christian de Neuvillette, whom Roxane loves for his beautiful exterior, but who is unable to write beautiful letters. And thus a virtual long-distance relationship ensues, which is really a ménage-à-trois.
After «The Three Musketeers», who continue to gallop across the Residenztheater stage, the Italian director Antonio Latella and his co-writer and dramaturg Federico Bellini now tackle the second great classic about famous swordsmen. They take Rostand’s play as the starting point for research into the nature of theatre and love, in which instead of the more than fifty characters presented in the original, only two performers stand on stage. The two men now have to tell the story without the object of their desires and have no muse to inspire their verses.
«Everything takes place in a theatre – just like Rostand’s first scene – and this is discussed quite ironically: where is there a space in our society to act freely and be yourself – with or without a nose? It’s about the relationship between art and power and the impossibility of finding true love. There is only one love here and it is made of words. But words are cunning playthings and have little to do with the truth. Cyrano turns the stage into a space for political action and the scene of a battle where words are used as weapons. Because in the free space on stage, verbal attacks and tirades of invective are permitted against everything and everyone, whether they rhyme or not. » Federico Bellini