Spotlight On… Star of Cyrano, Francesca Mills

Northern Broadsides and New Vic Theatre CYRANO

Derby Theatre Tuesday 16 until Saturday 20 May 

Tickets: £15.50 – £26.50, concessions available. For more information and to book tickets, call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or book tickets online here: Cyrano

UK tour of swashbuckling new  adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac

“Funny, bawdy romp which has exuberance  and passion at its core” British Theatre Guide
★★★★ The Guardian

Multi-award-winning Northern Broadsides have joined  forces with the highly acclaimed New Vic Theatre,  Newcastle-under-Lyme, to embark on a UK tour of Cyrano,  an exciting new adaptation by award-winning playwright  Deborah McAndrew (An August Bank Holiday Lark) of  Edmond William classic romantic comedy Cyrano de  Bergerac, and it will play at Derby Theatre from Tuesday 16 until Saturday 20 May.

Directed by Northern Broadsides Resident Director, Conrad Nelson, Cyrano is a brilliant poet and dashing musketeer who is deeply in love with the beautiful Roxanne. Afraid of revealing his feelings – for who could love a man with such an enormous nose – he woos her from afar with heartfelt declarations of love, delivered to Roxane from the mouth of the handsome Christian. Cyrano’s exquisite poetry captures her heart, but is it Christian or Cyrano who wins the prize of love?

Set in the golden age of musketeers, Deborah McAndrew’s lively new adaptation brings fresh vigour to this swashbuckling tale of unrequited love. Add to this Northern Broadsides’ musical panache, acclaimed charisma and exuberant performance style, and you have a delightful evening of pure drama that will lift your spirits and make your heart ache.

Director, Conrad Nelson is renowned for his bold approach to comedy, eliciting exquisite performances from the cast and bringing freshness, immediacy and vitality to classic texts that is unparalleled, resulting in highly accessible productions. Conrad says: “The adaptation embraces the poeticism of Rostand’s drama … in this vibrant, funny, romantic and heartbreaking adaptation. Debbie McAndrew has created a carefully crafted version that marries the energy and vibrancy of youth with the romance and classicism of the original.”

The cast for Cyrano includes Adam Barlow, who plays Christian (who last appeared at Derby Theatre in Lee Hall’s Cooking with Elvis) and Francesca Mills (who appeared at Derby Theatre in 2016 alongside Warwick Davis in the wonderfully funny and much-loved farce See How They Run presented by The Reduced Height Theatre Company). Other cast members include: Angela Bain, Paul Barnhill, Andy Cryer (an actor who also appeared in many productions during the Derby Playhouse days); Jessica Dyas, Christian Edwards, Michael Hugo, Anthony Hunt, Perry Moore, Sharon Singh, Robert Wade and Andrew Whitehead.

Tickets: £15.50 – £26.50, concessions available. For more information and to book tickets, call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or book online at

Northern Broadsides & New Vic Theatre Feb 2017
Cyrano & Adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac
by Deborah McAndrew Directed by Conrad Nelson
Designer Liz Evans Lighting Designer Daniella Beattie
Musical Director Rebekah Hughes Fights Philip d’Orleans
Christian Edwards/Cyrano Sharon Singh/Roxane
Adam Barlow/Christian Andrew Whitehead/Le Bret
Andy Cryer/De Guiche Paul Barnhill/Ragueneau
Angela Bain/Bellerose Jessica Dyas/Lise Ragueneau Francesca Mills/Sister Martha Anthony Hunt/Cavalryman Robert Wade/Musketeer Perry Moore/ Valvert
Michael Hugo/Ligniere

Here’s an exclusive interview with Francesca Mills from the show…

Thank you for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about the production of Cyrano.

The production of Cyrano is based on a man called Cyrano de Bergerac and he is a poet, a swordsman, a musician, everything you could possibly want but he’s got this massive nose which people perceive as ghastly so it knocks his confidence. He’s secretly in love with his cousin, Roxanne but they get on really well s friends and she’s the most beautiful girl in town so he thinks he stands no chance. She falls in love with Christian de Neuvillette, a cadet who is not able to impress Roxanne with poetry, he doesn’t know how to talk to girls. Cyrano teams up with Christian and puts words into Christian’s mouth which he delivers to Roxanne.

Were you familiar with the script?

I’d never come across the show before, but then since I’ve been doing it I’ve realised what a popular, well known story it is. I’ve fallen in love with the show it’s fantastic.

You’ve performed at Derby Theatre before in See How They Run…

Yes, with The Reduced Theatre Company, I remember Derby Theatre providing the best audience we had on that tour.

How do you think the space at The Derby Theatre will lend itself to this production of Cyrano?

Cyrano at the beginning is set in a Playhouse and as I recall, Derby is quite an intimate space which will lend itself well as that breaks the fourth wall between the audience and the performers.

What led you into a performing career?

I danced from a very young age, as a hobby really and I loved it – I came to the stage where I’d be in a dance contest every night if I could! They were holding open summer school auditions at The New Vic Theatre (where we started this production of Cyrano) they wanted kids for a production of Oliver and I got through. That was where I met actors that were doing it as a job and it made me realise I could do it as a job too. I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to do so that was exactly what I was going to do.

Finally, what would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket to see the show?

My mum saw it six times and that isn’t my mum being biased, she thinks it’s fantastic and it makes her cry every time. It will make you feel every emotion possible, so book a ticket to see Cyrano and you won’t regret it!

Thanks so much to Fran for her time, it was lovely to chat to her and we wish cast and crew all the best with the run.








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