The pillory is one of the most effective restraints ever invented, as countless people have discovered to their dismay over the centuries. The pillory is perfectly designed to render the occupant utterly helpless, no matter how vigorously he or she struggles to escape its wooden embrace.

Yes there is a remarkable woman who sees the pillory not as a punishment, but a challenge. She is Cynthia Morrison; otherwise known as The Amazing Cindini, escapologist extraordinaire.

Cindini regularly performs the seemingly impossible act of escaping from a genuine pillory. This is not a trick pillory as some performers use. Cindini invites members of the audience to inspect the pillory thoroughly before she is securely locked into it.

How does Cindini do it? Cynthia's not telling! So we'll have to content ourselves with a look at The Amazing Cindini in action.

pill03.jpg Cindini prepares to be pilloried

pilhat.jpg Are you sure about that hat?

pill01.jpg Perhaps not. Cindini looks worried!

pil04.jpg Waving to the audience

pilclose.jpg Concentration

pill02.jpg Just before the screen is pulled across

Ever since Cynthia introduced the pillory to her repertoire, audiences have been fascinated by this device from a bygone age. I'll let Cynthia tell you in her own words:

"The pillory seems to attract the most attention from the audience as a large number of people seem to become drawn to the apparatus and somehow cannot resist touching it as if to question if it really is part of this world. Of course the large part of the population probably never have seen a pillory unless fortunate enough to view one in an appropriate museum."

Cynthia also uses the Stocks of Zanzibar (a variation of the pillory) in her escape act. I am not aware of any historical basis for these stocks, although it is tempting to speculate that they might have some connection with Zanzibar's slave trading past. Here are some pictures of Cindini in the Stocks of Zanzibar.

zan1.JPG. zan2.JPG. zan3.JPG. zan4.JPG.

Cynthia's interest in medieval history and ancient traditions first attracted her to the pillory as an escape medium. But her interest also manifests itself in other ways. For example, Cynthia can toss the caber (a traditional Scottish Highland sport); she is also skilled in medieval combat, where she fights on horseback in full armour. Cynthia is a renaissance woman, both figuratively and literally.

Here are some other stage acts featuring the pillory escape.

pillor1.JPG. lisa1.JPG. daylekrallpillory.JPG. daylekrallpillory1.JPG. T2eC16.JPG. Pillory 4_1024x685.JPG.

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Last modified 1 October 2016.
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