Monday, December 7, 2009

a review

Touching the past – joyful theatre to help you remember!

LAST THURSDAY in the Continental Pub’s art space I witnessed mementos coming to life. “Human Remains”, a play devised by the whole company, a group called Touched Theatre, came from member Beccy Smith’s idea to recreate and celebrate her Great Uncle’s life, the African adventurer James Tunstall. And they did so using the things he had left behind!Uncle James was born in Manchester in 1927 and forged a successful career in Africa working as a crocodile and locust hunter and even discovered a new species of locust. His life is dramatised here through the lens of a young photographer called Stanley (played by Gilbert Taylor) who inherits his Uncle’s artefacts and uses them to make mock-ups of his life and experiences, capturing this “still living” in photography.We live his life once more through inventive puppetry and unusual use of his objects, enjoying the song he once sang, “I’ll hunt for you”, accompanied by his violin bow playing a saw, and his letters are flown around the stage in the manner of Savannah birds! At another point his stick is used to reflect his old age as it is limped across the stage. When it is finally leaned against a table, the beeps of a life support machine becoming continuous signal his death.The beauty of this lovely play was that it showed the value there is in making an effort to think about memorabilia. James in one letter wrote: “I think I am losing touch with you all back home”. It is easy to do, but through this play we are able to connect with him again in quite an unexpected way. So the next time you come across mother’s letters or a friend’s treasured gift treat yourself and go on a wonderful trip down memory lane. You might enjoy it and who knows...it might even feel real again!

The Continental is on South Meadow Lane, by the river Ribble. For upcoming events and tickets call 01772 499425

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