LPAC review: Memories are made of this

Wide-eyed and open mouthed, with thoughts unable to collect... | Photo: Samuel Cox

Croatian theatre company BadCo are touring the UK this November for the first time. This production, loosely based on Scott F Fitzgerald’s posthumous work ‘Memories Are Made of This’ is a complex amalgamation of digital art, dance and sound. Directed by Goran Sergej Pristas with graphic design provided by Gordan Karabogdan.

My experience at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre began in the foyer with the cast giving their own uniquely interpreted guided tour of the theatre. Sat in a chair I’m immediately knocked back by their most direct arrival.

All have short dark hair. Wearing matching black tops, shorts and shoes they appear militant, almost indistinguishable from each other. As a relative newcomer to theatre this almost aggressive nature of not being able to take to your seat and relax is an odd if not exciting proposition. I’m immediately aware that this will be a performance based on unconventional attitudes.

Lost and thrilled. | Photo: Samuel Cox

Tour concluded we are finally led into the main theatre, although you have to remind yourself where you are exactly. The stage has been reclined and the lights are down low. Scattered around lay small wooden tables, set in all manner of disjointed angles.

The audience arrives and finds just a handful of plastic chairs around each one. I sit myself down at the first one I come across and take note of my surroundings. On the tables themselves lay a spotlight and a radio. On the floor sit a few small white table lamps.

A large canvas drapes itself over the entire width of the venue, joined closely by another higher up on an adjacent wall. Projected on these periodically are bizarre messages, drawing your attention away from the folly about to unfold.

A performer sits next to me and begins whispering his nearly inaudible secrets. The other cast members begin doing the same at their respective tables. Each monologue appears to be different, with the collected sounds beginning to make me feel oppressed and sick.

This is followed by the most wonderful displays of dancing prowess I have ever seen. Graceful movements silhouetted by the ambience of the room. When a curtain pulls back revealing a screaming, battered tuxedo-wearing man poking at his eyes with his thumbs I am beyond the conventional realms of sensibility.

You could go to this show a hundred times and never quite get the same experience. Each audience member will have memories unique to them and no one else.

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