Tonight was the opening night for Best We Forget, developed by isthisyours? – a South Australian-based theatre company. This performance has a quick run of only 3 more shows (Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 September) – so get your tickets from the Brisbane Festival page here. This performance is brought to us as part of the fabulous Under the Radar program of Brisbane Festival which exposes independent performances and artworks from around Australia.
By tomorrow, you’ll remember 35% of what was shown here tonight.
Best We Forget explores the act of forgetting – intentional or otherwise (you’ll learn about Jason Bourne’s own Hollywood-twisted form of dissociative amnesia). What is memory? Why is it that we only remember some things but not others? Is modern technology making us forgo memorising facts – does this impact on education? They also provide free wine. This has an ulterior purpose. Just go along with it!
This panel discussion-styled show is presented in a way not often seen in theatre. Part-lecture-in-an-auditorium style complete with pointy graphs and pie graphs, part-story telling (complete with family holiday photos) and of course rounded off with good ol’ fight action and selfies with a Polaroid camera. The use of the studio in Metro Arts makes you almost feel like you’re in a lecture hall whilst the performers utilise the performance space to their advantage. The use of props including a smoke screen and a disco ball give this serious subject a fun touch.
The three performers, Louisa Mignone, Ellen Steele and Lydia Nicholson form this panel. They each have their own interpretation and fascination with memory and forgetfulness. The beginning of the show allows each of the characters to display this and even though it’s clearly rehearsed and memorised (how ironic!), for a panel discussion it seems to need more fluidity and improvisation. That being said, it is a tight performance. The show picks up pace quickly and the characters (each playing as their real selves) unravel more about memory, facts from Freud, quotes from Cicero, impressions of cats, how they want to be remembered when they die, their fears and anxieties. These women, in their late 20s, know how to appeal to their similiar aged audience, referring to past university student life, the ups and downs of relationships and meeting new people.
I loved the random science facts about studies with propanolol on US soldiers and advances in neuroscience. These guys have done their research and I’m thoroughly impressed. I have to suppress my urge to ask questions about said studies but for the general public, and because wearing a lab coat makes Steele feel more professional, we accept these facts – and are impressed.
This is one performance from an independent theatre company that I won’t forget any time soon.
109 Edward Street, Brisbane
7pm, Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 September
Adults – $25
Concession – $20
60 minutes (no interval)