Review Mnemonic, Complicité: Theatre Through The Telescope by Kevin Johnson

Part of the Theatre Through The Telescope season, a collection of plays sharing the theme of science, this is a work created by the Complicité theatre company.

It’s central premise is memory, it’s fallibility, how we shape it, how it shapes us, and how it connects us to past generations.

Moving from separated lovers in London to a mummified 5,000 year old corpse in Austria, via travellers, tourists and workers, making observations along the way. How today’s citizen was yesterday’s immigrant, and possibly tomorrow’s refugee?

One line resonated most with me, that ‘the biggest discovery of our present is the immensity of our past’. Using a simple leaf and a blindfold, the cast shows us how all our pasts are irretrievably connected, that it’s a mathematical certainty that we are family, not a theory. Yet violence is also our legacy.

In the end, all we have, like the mummy, are scraps and fragments

The cast of ten excitingly bring to life a vast selection of eclectic characters, some recurring, some not, but all moving the narrative along at a fast pace. That they do all this while at the same time acting as stagehands, setting up props for scenes and re-setting them, is pretty damned impressive.

These are the theatre makers of tomorrow, and based on this example, tomorrow is in good hands.

Kevin Johnson

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