Confined Human Condition preview

Confined Human Condition

Inventive musical theatre from Cathie Boyd's Cryptic

Cathie Boyd’s Cryptic have long been associated with inventive, often visually striking presentations of music. There’s often, as well, an exploratory and creative use of multimedia running through the work. But with this latest piece, the electronic visual effects are kept to a minimum – for good reasons, according to Boyd.

The new work centres on two musical pieces, Alejandro Vinao’s The Baghdad Monologue, with an electro acoustic score and singing by Scottish Soprano Francis M Lynch, and Phillip Neil Martin’s The Terror of Love, sung by Lore Lixenberg. Such is their effect that they require none of the usual projection. ‘I’m doing the whole piece through shadows,’ says Boyd. ‘I’ve returned to some really simple traditional theatre effects for this one. It’s the first time in 12 years that I’ve not used projection. The vocal sound is so fantastic that it’s already very multi-layered. I’ve done interactivity, projection, all of that, I really felt I could do this show without it.’

She adds: ‘The common denominators between the pieces is that these two women are both confined. In The Baghdad Monologue, in which the woman concerned is mourning her family and wants to leave, but can’t, because her dead son is buried in the garden, the confinement isn’t through choice. It’s a fantastic percussive, record-scratchy score, and Frances Lynch is speaking a lot of it – I’ve been working with her on her speaking voice for months.’ The second piece takes Saint Teresa of Avila as its starting point. ‘It’s a much more sexually charged piece, more liquid and sensual than the first, which is very solid and tangible,’ says Boyd. ‘This is a very private piece about her inner life.’

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 17–Sat 19 Sep

Confined Human Condition

  • 3 stars

A music theatre double bill presented by award winning Cryptic, which explores the minds and emotions of two women - one crippled with grief, the other with love. Includes world premieres of Phillip Neil Martin's 'The Terror of Love' and of Alejandro Vinao's 'The Baghdad Monologue', both for voice and electronics.


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