Entertainment Hive 2020

Don’t forget to remember this show

WHAT is this thing called memory?

It’s an important question No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability writer/director Alirio Zavarce poses in new show, I Forgot to Remember to Forget. “The title itself is a bit of a mouthful – I Forgot to Remember to Forget,’’ Zavarce says. “It’s a beautiful premise to look at memory, both how we remember and how we forget. “We look at memory in a very hilarious, tangible and touching way and it’s very relatable for the audience. “Everyone forgets things, from where they put their keys to leaving their sunglasses on their heads!’’ Zavarce says delving into a world where having to remember is paramount was an insightful experience. “I started working with some of the performers who have memory problems and how they deal and cope with that. “Theatre is dominated by the need to remember lines; you need to remember where to stand and all of the things that you need to do on-stage and behind-the-scenes. “There is a lot of pressure on remembering things, so it’s beautiful to create this performance style that looks at what happens when we forget.’’ This much-lauded show which features performers Michaela Cantwell, Kathryn Hall, Cassie Litchfield, and Kym Mackenzie had its world debut at the True Colours Festival in Singapore last year. Zavarce says it was amazing to perform to another country for such a special world premiere. “To have sell-out shows and see people sitting in the aisles was simply wonderful. “No Strings celebrates 25 years this year and that’s a long time and to still be on the road and bringing this conversation about disability and the arts to the Asia Pacific region is beautiful. “People with disabilities can perform and be in the arts and it’s wonderful for Michaela, Kym, Kathryn and Cassie to show everyone this.’’ All the performers in I Forgot to Remember to Forget are true stars in their own rights, but many readers would remember Michaela Cantwell’s work with the State Theatre Company, Brink Theatre and on television show McLeod’s Daughters. It was less than a year after a terrible stoke that Cantwell returned to acting and she opens a window into her world in this riveting piece. “It’s been about five years since Michaela had the stroke and she has gone through a whole process of re- inventing, relearning and re-assigning who she is and what she’s doing. “This is the first time Michaela is going back to the Adelaide Festival Centre to perform again and it’s exciting that it is in the Australian premiere of this show. “It’s been such a beautiful process for her.’’ Zavarce says Kathryn Hall is also inspiring as she can often forget where she is going. “Kathryn has cerebral palsy and often has memory lapses – she can be on a bus and not be sure of if she is heading into the city or if she’s going to Melbourne. “All of these performers are so skilled at coping and they may panic for an instant and then they have to manage what is occurring.’’ Zavarce says we live in each other’s memories. “Hopefully this show will play with the audience and trigger things in their heads as we tell some beautiful and funny stories from all of the performers. “I think the magic about coming to see our show is that disability disappears, and you are simply listening to an artist tell a story on-stage.’’ I Forgot to Remember to Forget, Adelaide Festival Centre, Space Theatre from July 3 to 6. Bookings: BASS 131 246
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