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Saturday, July 2, 2011


Dreamlike physical theatre production from Stellenbosch University. (Review by Lyschelle Linderboom)

"Mem-re" is a dreamlike physical theatre production presented by the University of Stellenbosch at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. It is choreographed and directed by Dayne Elizabeth Nel.

It was truly inspiring to watch an innovative physical theatre production performed by such strong performers who captivated the audience as well as each of the performers bringing their own uniqueness to the piece displaying their many talents. The soft dreamlike lighting and neutral colours as well as choice of music all worked well to create the ambiance of a memory.

We carry our memories in boxes and suitcases and the direction was clear with this idea. The set design helped create passages and doorways to activate portals to our memories that don't open or close.

Segments of silence and no music isolated moments which helped to evoke the mood as well as the playful laughter and heavy breathing.

The powder on the floor was like the dust of the past, in which we leave our marks. A big congratulation to the performers for being able to dance on a polished floor with flour scattered all over it.

Physical theatre relies heavily on body, when facial expressions are included it needs to be precisely executed so that the entire body relates the idea. Which wasn't always clear in this piece. The floor routines were lost due to the gentle rake of the venue. However, mention must be made of the excellent cast who brought their own style and influences. The fluidity of moves helped create a dream like state.

The simplistic set allows us to make marks with chalk with the understanding that memories can be erased as can the chalk. The "Mem-re" of this piece is defiantly not one that I want to erase. – Lyschelle Linderboom.