No Strings Attached
The Space
Until 06 Jul 2019

Review by Helen Karakulak

“I Forgot To Remember To Forget” is a wholesome hour of theatre that explores the trials of recollection that comes with acquiring a disability. This touching collaboration is compiled of autobiographical material from cast members, highlighting the struggle of simplistic recollection that we often take for granted.

Directed and devised by Alirio Zavarce, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” is authentic storytelling with monologues delivered by each cast member offering a touching insight into harsh realities.

All cast members are incredibly personable, which largely contributes to the enjoyable nature of the production.

Stand-out performances include Cassie Litchfield, whose bright and enthusiastic stage presence maintains expressive energy throughout. Whether it be supporting cast member Kym Mackenzie’s monologue as a breathtaking barista, or breaking out her Michael Jackson impression, Litchfield’s bubbly characterisation is a joy to watch.

Kathryn Hall shines in disjointed storytelling, capturing audience’s attention using her playful sense of humour and conveying the struggle of maintaining a line of thought amidst distractions.

Kym Mackenzie is delightful to watch as he recalls his routine and bus routes travelling to and from Glenelg to the CBD, accompanied by projections depicting a collection of numbers that could easily be confused with one another. Mackenzie’s monologue is a prime example of how “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” connects with audiences through utilising localised content.

This is further explored by using an image of Adelaide at various points in time and highlighting the changes that have been made to our city. This localised perspective brings further authenticity to the production, emphasising the structure and retainment of our memories in a relatable way, using well-known landmarks.

The simplistic set by Shane Pope utilises wooden panels as a surface for projections. This acts as a blank canvas to further expose a collection of biographical images and film that provides an insight into the mind. Incorporating photographs and film made the performance that much more engaging. The collaborative projections compiled by Matt Crook and Brad Thompson gave the show a unique element of advanced storytelling that perfectly complimented without overpowering the voices of the cast. Rather, the cast innovatively didn’t just incorporate the projections, but emphasised them, holding up smaller panels to zoom in on particular parts of images that they then unpacked.

Being specific to memory, it is unsurprising that the production had a repetitive element to it, opening with the ensemble delivering the premise of the show, using the same dialogue and movement twice directly in a row, and once more towards the end of the production. Rather than come across as repetition successfully emphasising the dialogue, it viewed as dull and unnecessary, specifically when immediately repeated in the first scene.

To further express the disjointed quality of memory and difficulties had, the cast have a dance break, representative of the meticulous nature of memory, serving the purpose of conveying the struggle to remember and maintain specific steps. While ambitious and entertaining momentarily, the intention was not always clear, and at times the dancing seemed excessive and unnecessary.

Despite these elements of repetition and dance, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking production by a talented ensemble. The autobiographical elements bring authenticity to the stage and explore more than memory, but identity, leaving audiences touched by a piece of each performer.