Preview: The Little Match Girl Passion @ Traverse, Edinburgh

Published on 22 Nov 2011 // The Metro // By Steve Clarkson

So, to finish where I began, it’s great when things work together. Literature, music, dance and drama, as well as themes of faith, transformation and mortality – it’s not often you find something on stage that’s anywhere near as complete as this. This is truly what brilliant theatre is all about.

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Theatre reviews: The Little Match Girl Passion… [5 STARS]

Published on 17 November 2011 // The Scotsman // Joyce McMillan

Performed by one dancer and four singers, who also play a simple, haunting percussion score on drum, xylophone and bells, Lang’s work, as directed by Josh Armstrong, emerges as a fiercely poignant and thoughtful short oratorio in theatrical form, which brings together dance, song, and powerful stage design to evoke an uneasy bourgeois society – Victorian in dress and decor, but contemporary in feel – shocked into mourning and self-examination by its own fatal lack of compassion.

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The Little Match Girl Passion @ Tron [4 STARS]

Published on 11 November 2011 // The Skinny // Margaret Kirk // [4 STARS]

There has always been an uncompromising seriousness within Cryptic’s art. While they are now on the cusp of redefining their mission – having been the vehicle for Cathie Boyd’s direction, they are promising to become a producing house for young talent, this commitment has not changed. Josh Armstrong’s direction of The Little Match Girl Passion – and its support act, World to Come – continues Boyd’s interests in making music that can be seen, top-notch technology, bashing presumptions about genre and a high quality production polish.

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The Little Match Girl Passion – review [4 STARS]

Published on 11 November 2011 // The Guardian // Kate Molleson // [4 STARS]

Like the Bach Passions on which it was modelled, David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion wasn’t written to be staged. The 30-minute score won a Pulitzer prize in 2008 for the humanity of its storytelling: four voices weave faltering, closely overlapping fragments of text, leaving space for reflection while entrancing listeners with their chant-like delivery. Lang himself said he wasn’t sure if a staged version would crowd the effect; Josh Armstrong, director of this beautiful Theatre Cryptic production, said the work’s fragility “must be handled with kid gloves”.

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Theatre preview: The Traverse Autumn Festival 2011

Published on 15 November 2011 // Scotland on Sunday // Mark Fisher

If you like blurred boundaries, look no further than Glasgow’s Cryptic, which long ago dropped the “Theatre” from its name because its productions had become impossible to define. At the Traverse, the company is presenting Little Match Girl Passion which, true to form, fields not only a cello and a choir, as you’d expect from a piece of contemporary music, but also a dancer and a video artist.

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RADIO: Dance:Film, Improvised and Organic

The Vile Arts Radio Hour // SubCity Radio // 11.11.11 //

all human life is here, as long as you like Optimo, Theatre Cryptic and film about dance. Vile gets on the blower to a man about a film about a man thinking about a Man: a couple of musicians improvise their way through Vile’s ignorance. The Organs of Love, latest signing to Optimo’s label tolerate a series of stupid puns from the host, and even STaG make a visit to talk about the toilets in The Flying Duck.

Actually, it’s Vile who does that. STaG talk about their festival of short plays. Other guests who have sworn never to come back include Josh Armstrong, fresh from success at the Tron with The Little Match Girl Passion and Meryl from cool new venue The Berekeley Suite.

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Passion play finds its voice

Published on 26 Oct 2011 // The Herald Scotland // Kate Molleson

Unlike Bach’s Passions, Lang doesn’t feature characters as such. There is no evangelist to narrate, no identifiable Match Girl. Instead, all roles are sung by a small vocal ensemble whose lapping lines weave and repeat to create a mesmerising reverie. “To be honest,” says the composer, “I’m not really interested in the Match Girl. The piece isn’t about individuals; it’s about us, the crowd, the community that passes her by.”

And while Bach punctuated his Passions with well-known chorales so that the original audience – a Lutheran church congregation – could sing along, Lang says that kind of affirmative participation is not his point. “Bach’s chorales were about shared experience, but I’m not out to create believers. I think that classical music these days is about giving individual space for reflection.”

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Le Jongleur de Notre Dame: Dickie and Butch Review

Dickie Review: The Hebrides Ensemble – Les Jongleurs de Notre Dame 27/05/2010 When?: Friday 21st May 2010 Where?: Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Who?: The Hebrides Ensemble, Håkan Vramsmo, Chris Patfield, William Conway Why?: A rare chance to see a performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’ 1978 musical comedy ‘Les Jongleurs De Notre Dame’ The short first half […]

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Le Jongler de Notre Dame: The Scotsman

Gig review: St Magnus Festival, Le Jongleur de Notre Dame Published Date: 22 June 2010 By Kenneth Walton ST MAGNUS FESTIVAL: LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE DAME ST MAGNUS CATHEDRAL, KIRKWALL, ORKNEY OF ALL the experimental music theatre works Peter Maxwell Davies wrote during his period of intense collaboration with the amazing Fires of London ensemble, […]

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