James McAvoy to lead West End cast of Cyrano de Bergerac

Posted on 31 July 2019

Renowned Scottish actor James McAvoy, best known for portraying young Professor X in the X-Men films, is set to return to the West End stage for the highly-anticipated revival of Cyrano de Bergerac as part of Jamie Lloyd’s brand-new season. The all-new production of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 comedy is set to be staged at London’s Playhouse Theatre with tickets on sale for the general public later this year.

X-Men star James McAvoy to appear in Jamie Lloyd's Cyrano de Bergerac revival 

James McAvoy will once again work with Jamie Lloyd for the long-awaited West End revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. The pair had previously collaborated on Macbeth and The Ruling Class at London’s Trafalgar Studios. The play opens on 27 November at the Playhouse Theatre in London where it will be booking until 29 February 2020. Tickets for Cyrano de Bergerac are expected to be as hot as this year’s runaway hit, Betrayal starring Tom Hiddleston, which was the most popular play out of Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinter season and broke box office records for the Harold Pinter Theatre.

A new staging of Cyrano de Bergerac has been in the works for a while

The 1897 Edmond Rostand play was freely adapted by the playwright Martin Crimp as early as two years ago. James McAvoy hinted at his involvement in the production back in September 2019, when he posted a photo on Instagram of him perusing Crimp's first draft of the script for Cyrano de Bergerac. McAvoy was bald in the photo in preparation for X-Men: Dark Pheonix and had also jokingly put on a long, fake Pinnochio nose (an ode to the story). He expressed his excitement for the new production and couldn't wait for his "conk" to get "serious augmentation."

Cyrano de Bergerac will open the new Lloyd season at the Playhouse Theatre, which is expected to last until August 2020. More shows for the season are expected to be announced in due course.

What is Cyrano de Bergerac about?

French writer Edmond Rostand's charming and comedic drama follows a soldier and lovesick poet who falls in love with the gorgeous Roxanne but is afraid that his big, fat nose will prevent her from feeling the same way. The titular character is based on the real-life French novelist, Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, and the play presents a fictionalised account of his life.

An abridged history of Cyrano de Bergerac: The play, musical, and films

The original play was written in verse and featured rhyming couplets with 12 syllables per line. It was close to the classical alexandrine style of poetry writing but with some verses lacking a break in verse. It remains one of the most heavily researched French plays of all time and features the names of real members from the French Academy of Language (Académie française).

The play has enjoyed dozens of productions over the past several decades, including a 1946 Tony Award-winning run on Broadway and another Tony Award-winning musical adaptation in 1973. Cyrano de Bergerac has also enjoyed a number of film adaptations, including the 1987 comedy film, Roxanne, starring Steve Martin as C.D. Bales and Daryl Hannah as Roxanne. It has also inspired a number of films, including 2009's The Ugly Truth with Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl, and 2012's Disney Channel Original Movie, Let It Shine.

Cyrano de Bergerac West End creative team

The new London production of Cyrano de Bergerac is to be directed by Jamie Lloyd. It features a script by Martin Crimp, design by Soutra Gilmour, sound and composition by Ben and Max Ringham, lighting design by Jon Clark, fight direction by Kate Waters, and casting by Stuart Burt.

Further casting for the West End revival of Cyrano de Bergerac will be announced in the coming weeks.

What’s the deal with Cyrano de Bergerac London tickets?

Jamie Lloyd has been a long-time, avid supporter of making theatre more accessible to young people and the London revival of Cyrano de Bergerac may just make West End history in that regard. Prices for London theatre tickets are steadily on the rise, especially when big-name celebrity actors receive star billing; something Lloyd has criticised as giving producers an excuse to charge too much. Showing a deep understanding on the importance of diversifying audiences, Jamie Lloyd plans to make Cyrano de Bergerac starring James McAvoy one of the most accessible “blockbuster” stage productions this year, with an unprecedented 15,000 free tickets to be made available to first-time theatregoers. The opening play of the new Jamie Lloyd season will also offer an additional 15,000 tickets at the low price of just £15 for people under the age of 30, key workers, and people on government and unemployment benefits in order to attract new audiences. It's a radical and bold move for London's West End.

Tickets for all other audiences are expected to go on sale sometime in September 2019. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be notified as soon as Cyrano de Bergerac: James McAvoy tickets become available for Playhouse Theatre run.

Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.