Preview: Cagebirds at the Bedlam

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WELCOME to the cage. Six prisoners reside isolated in their own thoughts and co-exist in delicate harmony, until their peace is shattered by the Wild One.

Captured and cast into the cage, she tries to escape, but in doing so she threatens everything the cagebirds believe in.

David Campton’s play is brought to life at the Bedlam Theatre this week in a new production by the Edinburgh University Theatre Company (EUTC).

It’s a production that blends absurdism, choreography and dark humour in this tale of the dangers of mob mentality and the price of free will.

Six women live and work in an office overseen by the mysterious and sinister Mistress. In order to escape from the reality of their imprisonment they lose themselves in dreams about food or their appearance or their health.

They shut out the world around them by descending into their own imagined worlds and surround themselves with their own birdsong. However, the Mistress has a new playmate for the cage.

This Wild One wants to escape, but she cannot communicate with the cagebirds. So she shouts and smashes the worlds the cagebirds have built in an attempt to get through to them and the cagebirds react violently.

A complex piece, Campton explores themes of indoctrination, the lies we tell ourselves, reactionism and the power of personal choice though a complex narrative that covers a wide range of issues close to everyone’s heart.

A spokesperson for the company says, “EUTC’s interpretation has been set in a stylised office, drawing parallels between being trapped inside, working for a faceless corporation you are unable to escape during a 9-5, and the coping methods we use to break the monotony.

“The incredibly talented cast have been skilfully directed by Marina Johnson and assisted by Abigail LaLiberté, and they have created powerful and terrifyingly empathetic characters.”

With more than 40 productions each year, the EUTC is the most prolific student theatre society on the Edinburgh scene.

The Cagebirds, Bedlam Theatre, Bristo Place, until Saturday, 7.30pm, £6.50, on the door