The Cid

The Cid

Written by Pierre Corneille
Translated by David Bryer
Performed in English
British première
1986–1987

The play is set in Seville, the capital of Andalucia in southern Spain. Don Fernando, the King, to deter attempts by the newly expelled Moors to regain their lost province, has moved his court south.

The King’s right hand man and commander of his armies is the Count Don Gomez. The King is to choose a tutor for his son and the Count takes it for granted that this position of honour will be given to him.

Don Gomez’s daughter, Chimena, is pursued by a number of young men but is in love with only one; Don Rodrigo. Don Rodrigo’s father, Don Diego, once occupied the same position as Chimena’s father. He is proud of his past and expects much of his only son.

The King’s daughter, the Infanta, has been encouraging the growing love between Chimena and Don Rodrigo for her own private reasons.

The British première of the stage version, specially commissioned by David Bryer. Produced by Cheek by Jowl.

“The strength of Declan Donnellan’s wholly admirable production lies in a combination of simplicity and style.”

The Sunday Times
Cast and creative team

Cast

NameCharacter
Mary AskhamElvira
Keith BartlettDon Gomez
Patricia KerriganChimena
Anne WhiteThe Infanta
Melina McGrawLeonora
Patrick RomerDon Diego
Aden GillettDon Rodrigo
Stephen SimmsDon Arias
David MorrisseyDon Alonzo
Hugh RossThe King
Timothy WalkerDon Sancho

Creative Team

RoleName
DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Composer / Musical DirectorJoanna MacGregor
Lighting Designer and Company ManagerAlex Starr
Costume SupervisorLouise Page
Costume makersKeith Bish, Hilary Boulton
Previous performances

Previous Performances

DateLocation
23–26 February 1987Stratford–upon–Avon, Swan Theatre, UK
19 January–14 February 1987London, Donmar Warehouse, UK
19 December 1986Shrewsbury, Ashton Theatre, UK
17 December 1986Kidderminster, Rose Theatre, UK
11–12 December 1986Carlisle, Stanwix Art Theatre, UK
1–4 December 1986Bury St Edmunds, Theatre Royal, UK
29–30 November 1986Chipping Norton, The Theatre, UK
28–29 November 1986Birmingham, Midlands Arts Centre, UK
26 November 1986Milton Keynes, Woughton Centre, UK
20 November 1986Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK
18–19 November 1986Fareham, Drama Centre, UK
13–16 November 1986Richmond, Georgian Theatre, UK
11 November 1986Stamford, Arts Centre, UK
3 November 1986Hull, Spring Street Theatre, UK
29 October 1986Chipping Norton, The Theatre, UK
22 October 1986Brighton, Gardner Centre, UK
17 October 1986Bracknell, Wilde Theatre, UK
13–15 October 1986Canterbury, Gulbenkian Theatre, UK
10 October 1986Hemel Hempstead, Old Town Hall, UK
7 October 1986Hemel Hempstead, Old Town Hall, UK
2–5 October 1986Dublin, Mansion House, Ireland
25–26 September 1986Basingstoke, Central Studio, UK
22–23 September 1986Lowestoft, Seagull Theatre, UK
16–18 September 1986King’s Lynn, Fermoy Centre, UK
Awards and reviews

Awards

Olivier Award – Director of the Year

1987 – For The Cid, Twelfth Night and Macbeth at the Donmar Warehouse

Reviews

“The strength of Declan Donnellan’s wholly admirable production lies in a combination of simplicity and style.”

Sunday Times

“Remarkable…David Bryer’s decasyllabic verse translation also blows sky high the usual puny claim that French classic drama cannot be done in English. The matinee audience at Dublin’s Mansion House sat as if gripped by a vice.”

The Guardian
Production photo
Photograph: Peter Mares
Production photo
Photograph: Peter Mares

“David Bryer’s decasyllabic verse translation blows sky high the usual puny claim that French classic drama cannot be done in English. The matinee audience at Dublin’s Mansion House sat as if gripped by a vice.”

The Guardian

What is honour? A word.
What is a word, honour? Air, A trim reckoning
Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday.

Henri IV, William Shakespeare

Explore more

Show more