Theatre Review: THE NATURE OF FORGETTING – The Lowry, Salford


The cast of THE NATURE OF FORGETTING by Theatre Re. Photo Credit: Richard Davenport

Poignant and emotional, THE NATURE OF FORGETTING is a moving tale of friendship, love, guilt and memories

It takes a lot of talent to tell a coherent, understandable story without using words. Theatre Re’s THE NATURE OF FORGETTING uses very few words but presents an incredibly beautiful and emotive piece all the same.

THE NATURE OF FORGETTING tells the story of Tom, a 55-year-old man celebrating his birthday. As he dresses for his party, it soon becomes apparent he is struggling with early onset dementia. As tangled threads of disappearing memories spark him into life, we follow him into a tale of friendship, love, guilt and memories as he tries to hold onto his past.

There’s a nostalgic, heartwarming energy to the first section of the piece, but as Tom struggles to remember, his memories become warped and we watch him get more frustrated. It’s heart wrenching to witness and Guillaume Pigé gives a wonderful performance as both young, energetic and hopeful Tom, and the older, confused man that he has become. As the audience watches his deterioration and confusion, it’s upsetting to watch but also a credit to Pigé’s performance.

Louise Wilcox plays Tom’s childhood sweetheart and later, wife, Isabella. Her performance is sweet and energetic, and it’s easy to see how Tom fell for Isabella. Other members of the company include actors Eygló Belafonte and Matthew Austin, and musicians Alex Judd and Chris Jones. The actors and musicians work together perfectly to create a seamless, poignant piece, and Judd’s composition beautifully complements the emotions of the story.

As Tom attempts to recall his life, we watch and rewatch several memories. Sometimes to moods or motivations have changed, or the memories have become distorted or broken into fragments. Though this is sad to see and does tell the intended story, the repetitive nature does leave the desire for the story to dig a little deeper, certainly into the relationships in Tom’s life. Some of the repeated scenes seem to drag slightly and it seems this time could perhaps have been spent delving more into Tom’s story. Nevertheless, it is still and incredibly effective and powerful piece.

Sometimes happy, hopeful, at times exhilarating and at others poignant and emotional, this is likely one of the most moving pieces you will see in a long while. THE NATURE OF FORGETTING skillfully tells an incredibly difficult tale but does so with buckets of energy and passion. Highly recommended.

4 out of 5 stars

THE NATURE OF FORGETTING runs at The Lowry, Salford until 13 June 2018.