Neuroscience and fabric of reality play Reminiscence opens tonight in London. For those not able to make it, the company have put images from the production online, which are quite beautiful in themselves.
Mrs O’Connor is a woman who develops a temporal lobe epilepsy that triggers hallucinated music and memories that seem to help her come to terms with a lost youth.
You’ll notice the set is actually a huge backdrop and one of the amazing things about the play is that it literally uses this fabric to model the mindscape of the main character.
It is not only the surface for some stunning visual projections, but is dynamically reshaped as Mrs O’Connor moves through the story and shifts from reality, to memory, to hallucination.
As science has told as that much of our remembering is reconstruction, the play centres around whether her seizure-sparked memories are real, or just fragments woven together to best fit what she hopes is true.
While Mrs O’Connor is tempted to succumb to her recollections, her neurologist is worried about the consequences of unchecked epilepsy, and both have to weigh neuroscience against the meaning of her memories.
All this is woven together with some stunning original music, played by the cast, who are also professional musicians and singers as well as actors.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend many happy hours discussing neuroscience with the cast and writers, and if you’re keen to come and join the discussion, I’ll be part of the free science forums that happen after the matinee performances on Sunday September 14th and Wednesday September 17th.
You can come along to these even if you saw the play on another day.
The play runs from 9 ‚Äì 20 September at the Jackson’s Lane Theatre in Highgate.
Hopefully, I should have some more exciting news shortly!
Link to Reminiscence information.
Link to online ticket sales.
Link to photos of the production.
One thought on “Reminiscence opening”
They’ll have to redub the theatre Hughling Jackson’s Lane, eh?
And all ‘reminiscence’ contains ‘science’ with a minor shift of letters. TLE makes an interesting companion for the stage. It’s the personal memories that audiences and performers awaken that can bring a piece to life. Memory is the ultimate confabulist, but that’s entertainment. With luck our blobby grayish pink playwright will craft a fair share of laughter and tears in the temporal anomaly we call everyday life. Dare we ever apply the label ‘real’ with assurance?
Linking this with the recent post on pseudobulbar affect show two scenes from the larger work of neurological damage and the not always entirely negative emotional affect. The damage that erodes control, can feel like creative freedom, a fresh look, or a loss of independence, or all at once. If an actor fluffs a line, he can try again the next evening – we don’t often get that luxury offstage except in imagination.
Writers can focus on creating alternatives for their own or witnessed mistakes. Theatre-goers and neurologists, or any combination thererof, can observe and try to decode what was from what might have been. Are we watching rehearsals or delusions?