What we’re up to right now…

In 2014, Cartoon de Salvo is developing two new projects: a radical refit of Edmond de Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac in international collaboration with the great French hiphop/’musette’ artist R.Wan; and a new show for rural touring, The Powercut Compendium, which will tour in autumn 2014 and spring 2015.


For our version of Cyrano, we will mess with Edmond de Rostand’s swashbuckling love story – irreverently devising, cutting and pasting both the French and translated text, and exploring the overlap between Rostand’s extemporising poet and our own interest in improvisation.  Cartoon de Salvo is exploring a radical take on the text, which splices story of Cyrano with a parallel story about our company. So many themes we’ve explored about the character – integrity, spirit, disobedience, refusal to compromise, risk-taking, joy and sticking your neck out – are the very themes we’ve recently been investigating about ourselves and our work as artists. With Cyrano, we will explore these overlaps and playfully weave these narratives together.

With this show, we will take as a jumping off point a ‘poor theatre’ or ‘rough theatre’ aesthetic and really push how epic and expansive that can feel.  We’re working with acclaimed, Olivier Award-nominated designer Michael Vale (RSC, National, Told by an Idiot, Kneehigh) on the project. We’re also pioneering an extremely exciting collaboration with the cult French hip-hop/musette band Java and their lead artist R.Wan – which will extend the potential reach of the project, and give it an electrifying musical dimension.

Check out our trailer ‘Cyrano – the beginnings’ here.


Cartoon de Salvo is making a new theatre show for the rural touring circuit that celebrates tale-telling, good company and the thrill of the dark. The Powercut Compendium is inspired by David Thomson’s classic book People of the Sea: Celtic Tales of Seal-Folk, and explores how people and communities entertained themselves in the days – and nights – before telly and smartphones.

The Powercut Compendium will begin as a theatre group, visiting the countryside with their new show, begin their performance. But then the electricity blows, and the room is plunged into darkness… Is it a power cut? Or something more mysterious? And how will audience and performers keep one another entertained until light returns? The Powercut Compendium is conceived as a playful celebration of Cartoon de Salvo’s unique relationship with audiences – which, for the first time, is being taken as the starting point for a show. It’s also a creative response to the challenge of stripping theatre back to a technical minimum, and seeing what happens when we only have storytelling left to keep the night at bay. The show will also allow the Salvos to experiment for the first time with several narratives in one evening – while ensuring that our audience is taken on a journey greater than any of the individual tales they’re told.

This new project is the first Salvo show to be directed by Neil Haigh – long-time performer with the company and now co-artistic director. It will be designed by co-artistic director Alex Murdoch, and Daniel Marcus Clark (who worked with us on Made Up) will compose live music.