Pre-dicting the Past, Re-membering the Present, Imagining the Self: the Theatricalization of Memory in Mnemonic by Simon McBurney and Complicité Theatre Company
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Mnemonic, a play conceived and directed by Simon McBurney and devised by Theatrede Complicite, words are not only time capsules in which different fictionalized memoriesare preserved, but also mnemonic objects in their own right. The playtext they conformacts, of course, as a reminder of the show that this British company created in 1999 forthe Salzburg Festival, and that toured internationally again in 2002: at the same time, thepublished text of the work contains the perspectives and potential techniques from whichthe notion of memory – and of individual and collective forms of remembrance associatedwith it – can be explored and semiotized. Núria Casado-Gual's article looks at thedramaturgical strategies and theatrical techniques used by the company in their particulartheatricalization of memory. Mnemonic, she contends, is not only relevant as anoutstanding piece of contemporary theatre, but also as a 'memorable' text that helps usdecipher our enigmatic selves in apparently oblivious and eroding postmodern times.Núria Casado-Gual lectures in English language, literature, and theatre at the Universityof Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. She is author of a PhD thesis on the the Caribbean playwrightEdgar Nkosi White, and combines her academic work with creative theatrical projects asboth playwright and performer with the company Nurosfera
Is part ofNew Theatre Quarterly, 2012, vol. 28, núm. 2, p. 182-188
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