BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Why James McAvoy has a nose for a good idea! 

James McAvoy is going into swashbuckling mode to play the hero who dreams of romance in Cyrano de Bergerac.

The actor has spoken in the past of having been ‘desperate for donkeys’ years’ to explore the role of Cyrano.

The star of the X-Men films will join forces with his theatre collaborators — director Jamie Lloyd and producer Adam Speers from the Ambassador Theatre Group — to put a new production of Edmond Rostand’s 19th-century play into the Playhouse Theatre.

James McAvoy (pictured) is going into swashbuckling mode to play the hero who dreams of romance in Cyrano de Bergerac. In the past he has spoken of having been ¿desperate for donkeys¿ years¿ to explore the role of Cyrano de Bergerac

James McAvoy (pictured) is going into swashbuckling mode to play the hero who dreams of romance in Cyrano de Bergerac. In the past he has spoken of having been ¿desperate for donkeys¿ years¿ to explore the role of Cyrano de Bergerac

James McAvoy (pictured) is going into swashbuckling mode to play the hero who dreams of romance in Cyrano de Bergerac. In the past he has spoken of having been ‘desperate for donkeys’ years’ to explore the role of Cyrano de Bergerac

It is expected to follow Trevor Nunn’s splendid production of Fiddler On The Roof, which sold out at the Menier Chocolate Factory and was transferred by producers Sonia Friedman and Michael Harrison. Fiddler has had a successful run but must end on November 2.

The deals for Cyrano are not locked in yet and dates are to be determined, but it could run from December or early in the new year.

McAvoy talked about his desire to play the poet, philosopher, nobleman and soldier who is as skilled at swordsmanship as he is at composing love letters, but is the possessor of a large nose that he believes makes him ugly. He writes and delivers poems to the object of his desire, the beautiful Roxane, but she thinks they are from another man.

‘It’s my words she kisses, and not his lips — there is cause to be cheerful there,’ is one famous line from the play.

McAvoy talked about his desire to play the poet, philosopher, nobleman and soldier who is as skilled at swordsmanship as he is at composing love letters, but is the possessor of a large nose that he believes makes him ugly. Pictured: Cyrano de Bergerac

McAvoy talked about his desire to play the poet, philosopher, nobleman and soldier who is as skilled at swordsmanship as he is at composing love letters, but is the possessor of a large nose that he believes makes him ugly. Pictured: Cyrano de Bergerac

McAvoy talked about his desire to play the poet, philosopher, nobleman and soldier who is as skilled at swordsmanship as he is at composing love letters, but is the possessor of a large nose that he believes makes him ugly. Pictured: Cyrano de Bergerac

Two years ago McAvoy posted a photograph on Instagram of himself with a copy of Martin Crimp¿s adaptation of the work, and a particularly long fake schnozzle. He hashtagged a line that read #itsnotthesizeofyournosethat countsitswhatyoudowithit thatcounts

Two years ago McAvoy posted a photograph on Instagram of himself with a copy of Martin Crimp¿s adaptation of the work, and a particularly long fake schnozzle. He hashtagged a line that read #itsnotthesizeofyournosethat countsitswhatyoudowithit thatcounts

Two years ago McAvoy posted a photograph on Instagram of himself with a copy of Martin Crimp’s adaptation of the work, and a particularly long fake schnozzle. He hashtagged a line that read #itsnotthesizeofyournosethat countsitswhatyoudowithit thatcounts

Two years ago McAvoy posted a photograph on Instagram of himself with a copy of Martin Crimp’s adaptation of the work, and a particularly long fake schnozzle.

He hashtagged a line that read #itsnotthesizeofyournosethat countsitswhatyoudowithit thatcounts.

McAvoy and director Lloyd have done three theatre projects together: Three Days Of Rain, Macbeth and The Ruling Class.

Lloyd had a success with his recent Pinter At The Pinter season, which included an acclaimed revival of Betrayal, designed by Soutra Gilmour and starring Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox. It will begin previews on Broadway from August 14.

Fortuitously, I had been playing catch-up with BBC drama Years And Years, by Russell T. Davies, which features Noel Sullivan in a much discussed moment with a personal robot called Keith with an intriguing attachment.

I mention this, because when I talked to Sullivan about him taking over as ‘teacher’ Dewey Finn in feel-good musical School Of Rock I thought of a scene involving him, Ruth Madeley and the aforementioned Keith.

He joked that perhaps there should be a ‘Keith the musical’. ‘There’s legs in that!’ he exclaimed, but only if Mr. Davies (‘a proper Welsh legend’) writes it.

Noel Sullivan (pictured) stars over as ¿teacher¿ Dewey Finn in feel-good musical School Of Rock

Noel Sullivan (pictured) stars over as ¿teacher¿ Dewey Finn in feel-good musical School Of Rock

Noel Sullivan (pictured) stars over as ‘teacher’ Dewey Finn in feel-good musical School Of Rock

Sullivan was in the original Hear’Say line-up, the group concocted on TV show Popstars; but ‘after the rug was pulled out from under us when I was 21’, the group disbanded and he focused on building a career that was ‘solid and stable’.

He appeared in touring productions of countless shows, including Rock Of Ages and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The break-up ‘was a hard thing for a kid to go through’, he admitted, but the experience taught him a lot, and ‘I’m glad I went through it’.

Sullivan, who was in the original Hear¿Say line-up, the group concocted on TV show Popstars, has appeared in touring productions of countless shows, including Rock Of Ages and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Sullivan, who was in the original Hear¿Say line-up, the group concocted on TV show Popstars, has appeared in touring productions of countless shows, including Rock Of Ages and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Sullivan, who was in the original Hear’Say line-up, the group concocted on TV show Popstars, has appeared in touring productions of countless shows, including Rock Of Ages and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Because most of the adult roles are teachers or parents, the youngsters ¿ who play their own instruments live ¿ tend to bond with Dewey ¿because he¿s playing a kid with them¿

Because most of the adult roles are teachers or parents, the youngsters ¿ who play their own instruments live ¿ tend to bond with Dewey ¿because he¿s playing a kid with them¿

Because most of the adult roles are teachers or parents, the youngsters — who play their own instruments live — tend to bond with Dewey ‘because he’s playing a kid with them’

Sullivan goes into rehearsals for the show, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes, from Monday ahead of his debut on August 19.

Because most of the adult roles are teachers or parents, the youngsters — who play their own instruments live — tend to bond with Dewey ‘because he’s playing a kid with them’.

‘They’re going to keep me on my toes,’ he added.

He thinks it’s probably not a good idea to mention Keith the robot to his charges at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Watch out for…

Richard Armitage, who will join the already announced (on these pages!) Toby Jones in a new version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya by Conor McPherson, directed by Ian Rickson. Jones, right, will play the eponymous uncle, and Armitage, far right, Astrov the doctor.

The key female roles of Yelena and Sonya are still being cast for the play, produced by Sonia Friedman, which will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre from January (dates have yet to be determined).

Armitage, who played Thorin in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, was last on stage in The Crucible at the Old Vic five years ago. He has been busy filming TV thriller Berlin Station, and was fun in Ocean’s Eight.

Jones, right, will play the eponymous uncle

Jones, right, will play the eponymous uncle

Armitage, right, stars as Astrov the doctor

Armitage, right, stars as Astrov the doctor

Richard Armitage (right) and Toby Jones (left) star in a new version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya by Conor McPherson 

Rita Simons, who will join star Layton Williams in the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, as teacher Miss Hedge, from August 5 — taking over from Faye Tozer.

Ms Simons was a daily presence on television for a decade as Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders.

The Jamie show has been enjoying a long run at the Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue. Its creative team of director Jonathan Butterell, Dan Gillespie Sells (music), Tom MacRae (book and lyrics) and choreographer Kate Prince have been working on a big screen version, which has just started shooting on locations in Sheffield for New Regency, Warp Films and Film4.

Rita Simons (pictured) will join the musical Everybody¿s Talking About Jamie, as teacher Miss Hedge, from August 5 ¿ taking over from Faye Tozer

Rita Simons (pictured) will join the musical Everybody¿s Talking About Jamie, as teacher Miss Hedge, from August 5 ¿ taking over from Faye Tozer

Rita Simons (pictured) will join the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, as teacher Miss Hedge, from August 5 — taking over from Faye Tozer 

Philip Labey, Julian Moore-Cook, Sabrina Bartlett, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, Michael Lumsden, Jordan Mifsud and John Hudson, who are charming and funny in director Paul Miller’s adroit production of Terence Rattigan’s wartime sexual free-for-all While The Sun Shines, which is playing at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, Surrey — my old stomping ground, back in the day, when I worked for one of the area’s local papers.

Link hienalouca.com

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