Cindy Oswin

Writer, Performer & Opera Librettist

Cell

Next performance: Friday, May 10th at 7.30pm
The Dragon Hall
King street
Norwich
Booking details: julianofnorwich.org

‘Cell’ is based on the life and writing of Julian of Norwich – the first woman to write in English. She was a medieval anchoress, which means that she was permanently enclosed in a cell attached to the church of St Julian in Norwich, after which she was named.

In 1373, some years before she entered the cell – when she was thirty years old – this anonymous woman fell seriously ill and was near death when she went through a series of what she described as ‘Revelations of Divine Love’ – sixteen visions in which she had intense conversations with the crucified Christ.

During the nearly forty years she was enclosed in her cell, Julian wrote the ‘Revelations’ in secret, as her work was almost certainly heretical at the time. She lived well into her seventies and writer/performer Cindy Oswin, now of a similar age, explores the constraints and deprivations of living for a long time in a cell 12’x12’ and Julian’s rich interior life which sustained and overcame those limitations.

The play ‘Cell’ examines religious belief and Julian’s visions in a lively, penetrating and humorous hour long performance.

‘Cell’ was originally commissioned by Somerville College, Oxford and supported by TORCH, for a conference on Julian of Norwich. It received its first performance in Oxford on July 16th 2022.

Here are some photos of ‘Cell’ at Christ Church St Leonards on Sea in 2023. The lighting was fantastic because we were able to use as many candles as we liked since it is a church. Candlelight provides a wonderful glowing softness to people and images. These beautiful photos of musician Nick Weekes and me were taken at the dress rehearsal by Rod Morris of Roadfactory films.

Take Care

Take Care an Opera in six scenes by Douglas Finch and Cindy Oswin

Cindy Oswin is a writer, performer and opera librettist. The many commissions she has received include – Shakespeare’s Globe for which she wrote the royal opening event, ‘The Triumph of Hope’; The British Library, ‘A Salon with Gertrude and Alice’; English National Opera libretto for ‘A Better Place,’ – composer Martin Butler.

In April 2022 her libretto for ‘Take Care’ – composer Douglas Finch, commissioned by Nottingham University, had its acclaimed premiere at Lakeside Arts Nottingham.

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