Cyrano De Bergerac...
....There is one thing that goes with me when tonight
I enter my final lodging, sweeping the bright
Stars from the blue threshold with my salute.
A thing unstained, unsullied by the brute
Broken nails of the world, by death, by doom
Unfingered - See it there, a white plume
Over the battle - A diamond in the ash
Of the ultimate combustion -
~ Cyrano De Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand, translated by Anthony Burgess.
The entire cast were superb - Jessica Oyelowo made an eloquent and radiantly graceful Roxanne, Oliver Chris an endearing, earnest and genial Christian, Jonathan Keeble nearly stole the show with his wry and dry-witted De Guiche – and were all supported by an amazing cast of gifted and spirited players.
Although no-one could eclipse the very brilliant Ben Keaton, who played Cyrano - quicksilver, dashing, poetic, bold, wonderfully funny - and ultimately completely heartbreaking - his was a most memorable and deeply moving performance.
In this silhouette I've tried to capture Roxanne, Christian and Cyrano as they were played at the Exchange - in one of the scenes I found the most moving.
Cyrano, who is competely, desperately - and secretly - in love with the beautiful Roxanne, is convinced she will not return his love, and instead nobly agrees to help the faltering and love-struck Christian woo her instead.
One night, as dusk falls, Christian calls to Roxanne, who stands on her balcony, listening to the boy profess his adoration. Unbeknown to her, Cyrano stands below, concealed in the shadows, prompting Christian, compiling breathtaking lines of poetry and devotions of love.
As the scene moves along, Cyrano (still unseen by Roxanne, who remains unaware of his feelings) becomes bolder, impassioned, and the true depth of his feelings are revealed...
If memory serves, at the Exchange this scene was played with Jessica Olelowo in the first balcony of the theatre, Christian calling up to her, with Cyrano crouched at his back, concealed.
But for the sake of drawing this clearly (I found that the two men merge into blurry-ness in a silhouette if they're depicted that way), I've separated them a little, but kept Cyrano animated - gazing up to the stars as if he were gazing up into Roxanne's eyes, lost in the intensity of feeling.
Draw with great respect and very appreciative nods to the marvellous Royal Exchange Theatre - and with sincere thanks for the inspiration! :)
See it a bit bigger here: clicky.
There wasn't a cat in the Exchange's production.
He appeared here of his own accord.
Cats come and go as they please.
Drawn while listening to this exquisite paen to love by The Morning Benders.
One of the most refreshing, uplifting and lovely songs I've come across recently, and the accompanying video makes me very happy indeed.