Skip to main content

Wilful Forgetting

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Three stars
Long before anyone posted selfies on Flickr or Tumblr, or Instagram 
allowed just-snapped camera phone images to be customised to whatever 
sepia-tinted vintage look  is deemed aesthetically pleasing this week, 
memories came in Eastmancolour and Kodachrome, and took a week to be 
developed. So it goes in Donna Rutherford and Martin O'Connor's lo-fi 
multi-media meditation on the past that shapes us, and how the 
narrative of memory comes with gaps.

A mother (Rutherford) is at the kitchen table as the audience enter to 
the comforting smell of baking. Sporting a maternal pinny, she goes 
through the motions of baking a cake as a Country soundtrack plays. 
Behind her, images flash up of other mothers proudly showing off their 
infant children to be immortalised in their now frayed and crumpled 
glory. Inbetween snatches of Rutherford's own out-front monologue, 
voices off reveal a schism down the generations as her son comes to 
terms with his sexuality, leaving the past behind as he goes.

Commissioned by Glasgay!, and lasting just as long as it takes a cake 
to rise, there's something touchingly honest going on here, both in its 
depiction of necessary estrangement and in Rutherford's understated 
delivery. As Rutherford necks another gin inbetween ingredients, the 
pains of a generation bound by traditions not of their own making 
aren't difficult to recognise. In this way, Wilful Forgetting is an 
elegy of sorts, even as Rutherford and O'Connor's text looks forward to 
more complex and possibly more enlightened family affairs. As videos of 
some very current mums and babies at play are shown while Rutherford 
slices her cake, this snapshot of sons, mothers and mothers mothers 
becomes the most loving of purgings.

The Herald, November 8th 2013

ends 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…