#10 The Nature of Forgetting

Theatre ( Physical, Music ) Pleasance Courtyard

Brilliant physical ensemble theatre; a classic boy meets girl story told through fading and escaping trigger memories. Emphasis is on what we forget, rather than what we remember, and what remains when our memories begin to fail us. Top-shelf theatre genius at play in an almost perfect showing.

A heartfelt show from a cast of four, complete with two musicians. Guillaume Pigé, director of Theatre Re, plays the protagonist, an ageing man struggling with early onset dementia, or perhaps traumatic amnesia. Pigé delivers a powerful, emotional performance as a fragile, sad man, disconnected from the present and afraid to lose touch with his past and memories.

From the present day struggles of the memory sick man, we are thrown into a series of reveries, each one more brittle and precious than the previous one. We see relationships form and develop in fluid scenes of a most ordinary life, from early school days well into adulthood. The dreamscapes are brought vibrantly alive by the live score and the constantly evolving stage. Subtle lighting and sound details and colour cues all add up to a wonderfully immersive world.

Racks of clothes capture a story of a lifetime, bringing memories of childhood and youth to tangible life. There is deep understanding here, the pain of amnesia and loss - in the carers as well - made viscerally present. All feels real, we are treated to fine portrayals from the whole cast.

Only minuses perhaps from the at time overpowering soundscape, which, though beautiful, broke immersion by sheer volume. Some of the physicality seemed a little samey and gratuitous towards the end, some of the posing felt a little wooden, but overall the show keeps you well in hand. The fast choreography is a joy to watch, and exuberantly skilful mime is always a delight.

Theatre Re presents an expertly balanced story of joy and loss, conveying emotion to the point of audible gasps in the audience. Painfully articulate physical theatre left many of us wiping the corners of our eyes, as the true nature of forgetting gradually revealed itself.

Well-deserved standing ovation.