Memoria, created by Tmesis Theatre and directed by Elinor Randle, takes us on a journey of memory and nostalgia in this immersive, physical piece set in the Albert Walker Hall at the Linacre Methodist Mission, much influenced by the many real stories of people whose lives were spent in this very building and whose accompanying voices and imagery are further represented through the physical medium of cast and ensemble, and the addition of text from David Whyte’s Consolations.
These experiences are further explored by the notion that perhaps all epochs live and breath in parallel, that spaces and minds can hold imprints of all that has gone before, influencing the future. Equally, where we don’t remember, we always have our imagination, and this is where the piece spectacularly unfolds as our own memories are brought to the fore and our own imagination plugs the gaps as we observe the performances in and around us, gentle and non-threatening, warm and embracing, tinged with moments of sadness, whilst drawing smiles with its good humour.
This is a piece that lies at the heart of a community, that speaks of and for that community, yet by inviting us in, creates further and deeper connections to the wider world and reinforcing that we are perhaps just one after all, the picture frames surrounding us capturing merely a moment in time: the congregation of the 21st Century gathers to celebrate in so many different ways.
The cast of Duncan Cameron, Samuel Duran, Eleni Edipidi, Jennifer Essex, and Mariana Pires guide us sensitively through these rich tapestries as they open up the boxes to memories past, those cherished and those that hurt and have been hidden away, as well as those that speak of hope in the present and future. In this they are ably supported by an ensemble drawn from Gemma Bond, Lennie Bryan, Romy Kelleher, Rhiannon Lewis, Marika Malliarou, Faye McCutcheon, Isaac Nixon, Amber Wadey, and Lucy Woods, with the choreography throughout an absolute joy to watch.
The whole is the sum of its parts with credit due to designer Steph O’Hara, projection & lighting designer Phil Saunders, stage manager Rach Hankin, and producer Claire Bigley, who, in conjunction with Randle, have perfectly interwoven a variety of strands to serve up this visceral delight.
This was a beautiful, moving, and evocative journey through the time of a building, its people, and their emotions which brought out my own tears of sadness and joy. A day on and it is still resonating with me, powerful stuff indeed.
Tmesis Theatre create, develop, and share passionate and playful physical theatre and have toured their award-winning productions nationally and internationally since 2003. Further details https://www.tmesistheatre.com/
Physical Fest is their bi-annual International Festival of physical Theatre and unique to the UK, it brings incredible world-class artists to Liverpool in a vibrant festival celebrating the best in contemporary physical theatre. Further details https://www.tmesistheatre.com/physical-fest/
The Albert Walker Hall at the Linacre Methodist Mission is a beautiful hidden gem. Built in 1909, it has recently been restored thanks to Heritage Lottery funding with this the first event in the new space. Further details https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Albert-Walker-Hall-107587937628768/
Reviewer: Mark Davoren
Reviewed: 29th June 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★