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Silent play depicts fading memory of man suffering from dementia

Silent play depicts fading memory of man suffering from dementia

Posted April. 05, 2022 07:50,   

Updated April. 05, 2022 07:50


A silent play with hardly any lines and mostly mimes and dance expresses stories and emotions- titled “The Nature of Forgetting,” which opens on April 14 at the Wooran Cultural Foundation Theatre in Seongdong District of Seoul.

“It is a live performance that relies on body movement, rather than lines, to communicate with the audience,” said Guillaume Pige of Threatre Re, a British acting company, whom your reporter met with at the Wooran Cultural Foundation Theatre on Friday.

In the play, also known as Physical Theatre, music plays a critical role just as important as the actors’ movements. Sounds of traditional musical instruments such as the violin, keyboard, and drum join the sounds of electronic music including sound samplers and pedals. “We have two performers play all these instruments live,” said music director Alex Judd. “Music fills in the place of lines this way.”

The play depicts friendship, love, forged and broken relationships, life, and death by the memories of a 55-year-old man suffering from early dementia. He seeks for the final target that will stay with him after his memory is lost. “The human brain is known to work by multiple factors coming together and apart like puzzles. The theme is an abstract one, dealing with memory and oblivion, but the choreography and music are detailed and realistic,” explained Director Pige.

The performance of four actors and two music performers diverge as the play progresses. “The actors’ imaginations are maximized as they work with minimum lines, which leads to subtle differences in inner reflection,” said Pige. The performance runs from April 14 to 30. All seats sold for 40,000 won.

Ji-Hoon Lee easyhoon@donga.com