Verdict: Five stars. 

Mind blown.

There is no doubt that is how most of the audience felt after viewing Cyrano de Bergerac at the Glasgow Theatre Royal on Wednesday night.

The simplicity of those words could never compete with the complexity of emotion exerted on stage by the great wordsmith himself.

But they do the great character justice by capturing the power of this wonderful show which brought Hollywood actor James McAvoy back to a stage in his hometown for the first time in more than 20 years.

READ MORE: Hollywood star James McAvoy is back on stage in Glasgow for first time in 20 years

Glasgow Times:

At its heart, this is a story about love but more than that Edmond Rostand's play explores the complexities of humanity by placing the spotlight on how we view our self-worth and image. 

This new version by Martin Crimp sees Drumchapel-born McAvoy take centre stage as Cyrano who although is feared for both his sharp poetic tongue and fighting ways has been saddled with a nose as huge as his heart. He is in love with beauty Roxanne (Evelyn Miller) who desires a man who has a way with words like Cyrano but is also attractive. When she sets her sights on the dim-witted but handsome Christian (Eben Figueiredo), Cyrano devises a plan to give his true love the best of both worlds. 

You may have seen variations of the story throughout time including Steve Martin's 1987 rom-com Roxanne but this production by the Jamie Lloyd Company is simply spectacular.

Glasgow Times:

Everything is stripped back. There is no costumes, props and even that nose is gone. Producer Jamie Lloyd lets the acting do the talking and the result is magical. 

Using methods of slam poetry and rap the delivery of dialogue throughout by the actors is breathtaking. They draw you into the story with each word carefully announced through the use of mics. Everything is pitch-perfect.

Glasgow Times:

McAvoy using his own Glaswegian dialect throughout adds to the performance. He often used the harshness of the words to weaponize his tone and the impact could be felt throughout the theatre. It worked in the opposite way for comedy value in the moments of the show which were humorous.

McAvoy took you on a ride with his character and had you sitting on the edge of your seat feeling all the emotions he was going through. It was magnificent to see a homegrown talent shine on stage and really showcase the wonderful way in which Glaswegians speak. 


Glasgow Times:

The ensemble cast bolstered the show in equal measures each of them owning their moment on stage and pushing the narrative one step further. 

To see this show really reminds you why theatre can be so powerful. At its core, actors tell a story to connect with the audience and when it's done well there is no forgetting it. This is exactly what the cast of Cyrano de Bergerac delivered. They used their raw talent to deliver a story, make the audience believe and for that reason, the night is one that they will never forget.