The Nature of Forgetting (5 stars)

The Nature of Forgetting

Exquisitely beautiful, moving physical theatre inspired by dementia

If a physical theatre show about early-onset dementia doesn't sound like your thing, think again. This is a breathtakingly beautiful, punishingly energetic show from Fringe regulars Theatre Re that immerses us deep in the fractured mind of 55-year-old Tom – now struggling with the simplest tasks, but with vivid memories of his past jostling for attention in his brain.

The Nature of Forgetting is probably the most immediately accessible of Theatre Re's shows, and despite its almost complete absence of text, its scenes are blissfully lucid through the evocative movement of director Guillaume Pigé, who also brings a startling intensity to the central role. At times the stage teems with such richness of movement that it borders on the euphoric, while at others Pigé suddenly pares things down to a single, fragile figure, lost amid emptiness. His three supporting cast members give hugely characterful performances in their own right, assertive but exquisitely nuanced as figures from Tom's past.

Alex Judd's Sigur Rós-style music, played live behind a battery of on-stage instruments, only adds to the show's huge emotional punch, but that impact never feels calculated: it comes entirely from the story itself, told with disarming sincerity. This is a very special show, one that finds something joyful in the bleakest of tragedy, and one that inspires both celebration and compassion.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), noon, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11.50).

The Nature of Forgetting

  • 5 stars

Theatre Re presents a physical piece about disappearing memories, featuring mime and live music.

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Sun 20 Aug

Forth

£12.50 (£11.50) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Mon 21 Aug

Forth

£10.50 (£9.50) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Tue 22 Aug

Forth

£10.50 (£9.50) / 0131 556 6550

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 5 more dates until 27 Aug

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