His first play, Les Romanesques , which concerned two young lovers, appeared four years later. And the next year, 1895, La Princesse Lointaine , was produced. It was the story of the Provencal poet, Rudel. Rostand's next play was La Samaritaine , written for the popular French actress, Sarah Bernhardt. Most critics did not like it because one of the characters — and a minor one, at that — was Christ. Cyrano de Bergerac made its first appearance in 1897 with the actor, Coquelin, in the title role and was presented for 500 consecutive performances. It was the most popular play of the era, and since its first performance there has hardly been a time when it was not in production somewhere in the world. For, although the play is typically French, it is highly popular in other countries, even when it is translated poorly or cut unmercifully. Rostand's next play,
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