I Burn for You

Capstone Liverpool
28th October 2015

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

On paper this looked like an intriguing night's entertainment. It did not disappoint as the assorted cast and musicians poured their hearts and souls into this timeless story of blood lust and possession. While never a gory experience, this production resonated with huge psychological and emotional impact from a dimly lit and minimalist stage, which included Daniel Dewesbury's backdrop video screen.

Christian Marten-Molnar directed this hour long single act play, the action of which involved a grisly menage a trois, of sorts. The Vampyre (celebrated heavy-metal bass, Attila Scihar) preys on the Woman (Lauren Kinsella, soprano) while her ineffectual Doctor (Phil Minton) is powerless to intercede.

The action is played out to a claustrophobic and miasmal musical accompaniament; wailing saxophones from a slumped in the corner Cathal Roche, scary flute/malignant accordion from Clive Bell and crimson red bedecked Les Patterson's table top array of ethereal electronics. These looked like they could have come from the crypt of technology itself.

A tormented woman seeking some sort of respite from nocturnal visitations is at first able to resist the off stage lure of her nightmare assailant in a doctor's surgery, but the video of a ship with a torn sail does not bode well for her agitated mental state. Nor do subsequent images of neutral open spaces, dead tree branches and later graveyard crosses or church bells come to her aid as any chance of salvation fades with the decaying scenes behind her.

When the bloodsucker does come into malevolent view a shrill crescendo of discordant music and desolate vocal cries greats his arrival and continues during his remaining stay on stage. As the die is cast, the Woman is ineluctably reeled in by the reclining Count of Darkness. By now a feral creature with no will left she crawls to a fate worse than death.

That's the inevitable bones of this age old story, but how good was the production? The principles came out of it with varying degrees of credit, proportionate perhaps on the effort they had had to put in.

Except in the collective grievous outpouring scenes, vocal improviser Minton was rarely stretched, having little to do but read his diagnosis notes on the patient he is losing. Kinsella's acting was by far the most kinetic, while her voice echoed her deranged state of mind well. The gravel throated Hungarian left nothing to the imagination in his predatory role, being remorselessly egged on by some suitably otherworldly backing.

As part of the performing space's Halloween Week the bleak spectacle went down well with this less than full audience. In the bar afterwards a suitably dressed interloper with dreadlocks and top hat who had travelled with a party from Huddersfield held sway, a follower maybe of Ian Wilson who conceived, wrote and arranged the work.

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Comment left by Caroline Clay on 13th November, 2015 at 6:52
I was one of the party from Huddersfield and I can assure you that nobody in the group had dreadlocks. You must have imagined that bit. I think I might be married to the "interloper" you describe - he is not a follower of Ian Wilson.