Forgotten Things

Written by Emma Adams
Directed by Rod Dixon and John Barber
Unity Theatre (6th-7th October 2009)

Reviewed by Mari Jones

From the well established theatre company Red Ladder comes a production that is currently touring the North West. It is called Forgotten Things and it shows a family of bizarre people who are all trying to find something, literally or figuratively.

Grandma Lilly (Jo Mousley) has a condition that makes her constantly forget things and she is desperate to find one item that she hopes will let her remember her past more clearly. The mum and dad of the family, Margot (Simone Lewis) and Philip (Stephen Mosley), are visiting Dr. Kevin (played to amazing effect by a puppet!) to try and find out what is wrong with their son Toby (Woody Murray). And all Toby wants is to find someone who will listen to him.

This is a surreal piece of theatre that throughout looks and feels dreamlike. The actors’ performances are all overly theatrical, but not in a bad way, and they all wear striking white make-up. The stage is manipulated in clever ways that mean the space is opened up and allows the actors to enter and exit through the walls and floor. Using a puppet for Dr. Kevin is also an inspired idea and results in some very funny moments.

And while there are parts that are funny, it sometimes becomes tragic and poignant, particularly regarding Lilly’s loss of memory and the heartbreaking fact that she constantly forgets her own grandson’s name.

Forgotten Things is a very enjoyable play, but one flaw it has is that it seems to end quite abruptly with an idea that seems tacked on and so it doesn’t feel as fully concluded as it could or should be. So if you like productions that are easy to follow and that answer all the questions they set at the start, then don’t go and see this. Because in the end the mood and look of this production seems to be better than its plot.

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