About Heath Lamberts : "He was a comic genius with a troubled soul, a man able to leave a whole theatre helpless with laughter".
Â Â Cyrano opened on 14 August 1982 (after four previews) to huge acclaim. Derek Goldbyâ€™s directing was praised as both sensitive and dashing â€“ at the end of the first act he had the whole cast charge out through the auditorium to the sounds of Berliozâ€™s Roman Carnival overture â€“ while Cameron Porteousâ€™s costume designs flamboyantly and colourfully depicted the fops, courtesans, pickpockets, and soldiers of seventeenth-century Paris on five different sets (superbly lit by Robert Thomson). Heath Lamberts was feted both by audiences and critics. It was a virtuoso performance, in which Lamberts â€“ an actor of unheroic physical stature â€“ made a hero of Cyrano by stoic acceptance of his misfortunes. And he made Rostandâ€™s poetry sing. â€śHe can take the words,â€ť said Audrey Ashley in the Ottawa Citizen, â€śtoss them in the air, give them life and colour and beauty, and so dazzle us with them that we forget his unromantic bearing.â€ť â€śThe finest farceur in Canada, no, on the continent,â€ť wrote Gina Mallet in the Toronto Star, â€śLamberts has always been unparalleled at suggesting that even beneath the silliest ass, a great soul may be lurking.â€ť In Lambertsâ€™ Cyrano Mallet saw that soul, a soul that â€ścaptures greatness irretrievably, bringing absurdity and heroism together with panache, an imperishable swagger of the spirit.â€ť This was, concluded Mallet, the best production at the Shaw Festival since Tony van Bridgeâ€™s 1977 Man and Superman.
Cyrano went on to further success and more accolades in the Festivalâ€™s 1983 season (â€śYou may never again have as grand a collection of acting, directing, and design talent in as great a play of romance and comedy on this stage,â€ť declared the Canadian Press), and, in the winter of 1984-85 at Torontoâ€™s Royal Alexander Theatre. Regrettably, a planned television production in 1983 never materialized. But of more immediate importance to Christopher Newton in the fall of 1982 was that the success of Cyrano (with a 99% box office) had capped a season that had, to a large extent, satisfied both the expectations of the board and Newtonâ€™s own sense of objectives and priorities for the Festival.
Mise en scĂ¨neÂ : Derek Goldby
PremiĂ¨re: le 14 aoĂ»t 1982
Costumes : Cameron Porteous
ScĂ©nographie : Robert Thomson
Adaptation : Anthony Burgess
Rôles et interprĂ¨tes :
Cyrano de Bergerac Â â€“ Heath Lamberts
Photos Â : Â© DAVID COOPER PHOTO