Reviewer: David Doyle
Tom, the protagonist, of Theatre Re’s The Nature of Forgetting is celebrating his 55th birthday when we join him. He is also suffering from early onset dementia. Over the course of the next seventy-five minutes, we follow him into his mind as he recalls and attempts to recollect memories of his past. A stunning exploration not merely of dementia but of memory and the fragility of life, the show is a deeply moving look at a life lived.
Set against Alex Judd’s beautiful composition, the show plays out nearly wordlessly as the company’s ensemble weave their way through Tom’s mind, exploring key moments from his earliest school days through his wedding, and beyond. Executed with flawless precision, Tom’s life builds and falls about before our eyes. With limited props and set, the ensemble manages to craft a world with real depth and heart. Led by the show’s creator and director, Guillaume Pigé, the story is deeply emotive without feeling manipulative in how it is doing that. Pigé is joined by an incredibly strong cast all of whom add something special to the performance with nuanced performances.
With the lightest touches of heartbreak, the piece is a celebration of life. Often exuberant despite the precise discipline required of the performers, it is a joy to watch. As the audience grows close to Tom the fracturing and splintering of his memory is all the more impactful. Theatre Re has created something very special with The Nature of Forgetting and it’s unlikely you’ll see a better piece of theatre at the Fringe this year.
Runs until 27 August 2017 | Image: Contributed