Memento Mori

Conceived and Directed by Momentum and Tanya Khabarova
Unity Theatre, 3rd February 2006

Reviewed by Adam Ford

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the ancient Greek story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus composed poems and songs that moved stones and trees. He married Eurydice, who was fatally poisoned by a snake bite. Orpheus travelled to the underworld realm of Hades to fetch her, but was instead presented with an apparition.

Not that you'd guess much of that from this show. I got that Eurydice died, and I got that Orpheus had reached Hades because the lighting went red, but that was about it. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. Far from it in fact.

Yorgos Karamalegos as Orpheus and Elinor Randle as Eurydice pulled-off an hour of frenetic, highly energetic, and passionate dance that was an exhausting pleasure to witness. Though their interpretation of the story was highly abstract, this actually seemed to add to the greatness of the experience, as the viewer was invited to compare the action on stage to events from their own lives. Paul Skinner’s original soundtrack ably interwove diverse musical styles - from soaring operatic vocals to hip hop beats. The sparse costumes allowed for maximum freedom of movement, and this potential was realised with writhing, jumping and struggling the likes of which mere words could never hope to invoke. The packed theatre reacted with impassioned cheering and applause.

This performance marked something of a homecoming for Liverpool-based Momentum, who are taking Memento Mori around Europe. The group formed in March 2003 after completing Hope Street's Physical Theatre Programme, and ‘Tmesis’ - their reworking of a speech from Plato’s ’Symposium’ - impressed critics that same year. On this evidence, the duo continues to go from strength to strength, and I eagerly anticipate their next production.

Printer friendly page