"It talks about things we don't talk about much" - Cathy Tyson tells us more about The String Quartet's Guide To Sex And Anxiety
Ahead of the opening night of The String Quartet's Guide To Sex And Anxiety, we caught up with Cathy Tyson to talk about the show.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the show?
Calixto Bieito, the director, has collated a number of writings that reflect all the different elements of anxiety in everyday life. Calixto has studied these writers for a long time and the show was born out of these texts.
In the show, someone has OCD, someone has depression, someone has existential angst and someone is experiencing PTSD.
I think anxiety and depression are things that people firstly want to back away from. In my research for the production I've listened to people who have gone through painful situations and who have suffered grief. It has been a fascinating and educating journey. Depression, anxiety, pain are a part of life, but I think the show has the possibility of helping us to treat people who go through these situations in a kinder way.
What other elements make up the show?
The fabulous Heath Quartet are integral to the show and the music they play, Ligeti and Beethoven string quartets, feed into the themes of the show. As an actor I'm used to listening to words to trigger emotions, but in this there is music to listen to and to colour my character's experience. The music is beautiful and there is humour in there as well.
Why should audiences come to see the show?
It talks about things that we don't talk about very much. Mental health at the moment is fortunately being talked about a lot more and hopefully becoming less of a taboo.
Anybody who is having difficulties should definitely come to see it, and even if not, it might help us to be more compassionate towards people who are suffering. You never know when you might be hit by something yourself.
Society needs to learn how to adapt to people with difficulties, not the other way around.
I don't know whether this will change people's attitudes. People take from shows what they want. As actors, we're powerless over what people take, that's the beauty of it.
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