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BWW Review: THE NATURE OF FORGETTING at Wooran Theater 2

BWW Review: THE NATURE OF FORGETTING at Wooran Theater 2

What comes to mind when you hear theatrical performances? The two common types of theatrical performances are plays and musicals. Despite their several differences, both have a common similarity in that they are verbal. Whether it is a heartbreaking solo or a long monologue, the two theatrical performances are filled with verbal content and minimum moments when the actors' mouths are closed. That is why when THE NATURE OF FORGETTING announced its Asia premiere in Korea, an immediate interest grew due to its unique format of being a physical theatrical performance. With positive reviews and a sold out soundtrack, THE NATURE OF FORGETTING had its last performance on the 18th.

The company of THE NATURE OF FORGETTING, Theatre Re has actively produced diverse projects starting from 2009. Having their base in London, they have created performances that stimulate thoughts and move emotions, affecting people internationally. Most of the works of Theatre Re use mime, play, live music, and energetic dance movements to express the fragile state of the human mind. Their main goal is to give audience inspiration and an unforgettable impression with their unique, direct, and energetic performances.

THE NATURE OF FORGETTING was first introduced in the 2017 London International Mime Festival. Not only was the show entirely sold out, when the show was presented in the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, but it was also titled as the "most unique show of the year." The Korean performance for THE NATURE OF FORGETTING was completely sold out within a few days after tickets were available, clearly showing its popularity.

THE NATURE OF FORGETTING is a about a man who suffers from dementia named Tom. It is his 55th birthday and his daughter, Sophie struggles to help him get ready for his party. She constantly mentions that she has tucked the red tie in the blue jacket; however Tom fails to find the tie. With that, he only remembers "red" and frantically begins going through the clothes hanger, to discover his dead wife's red dress. With that, Tom traces back his memories, including the joy and the sadness.

The performance is mainly focused on Tom's past life as a student. After Tom wears his school jacket, he goes back, remembering his school days with his to be wife Isabella and his best friend Mike. During the entire show, there are minimum props used and because there are only four actors performing, the actor who portrays Sophie also plays the role of Isabelle and the actor who plays the role of Mrs. Denis, Tom's mother also portrays the character, Emma, a friend of Tom. There are two people who perform the live music, consisted of a multi-instrumentalist and percussionist. During some parts of the show, they would step up on stage and act along.

The theatre where THE NATURE OF FORGETTING was performed was a black box theater, which led there to be a minimum distance between the actors and the audience. There was a wooden flat base that acted as the main stage and props were lined along the stage. Though the stage wand props were minimum, the show still managed to feel complete. Lights were also a key part in grasping the audience's attention.

As THE NATURE OF FORGETTING is a physical theatrical performance, it may seem difficult to understand at first. However, it was a unique experience to see this type of performance and make my own interpretation. It truly gave the impression that theatre can be expressed through diverse medium, not only verbally. The show was only for 75 minutes, but every minute, every second, I held my breath, truly captivated by the movements of the actors and live music by the band. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience.

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From This Author Jimin Lee