Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Equinox Theatre, 'Memory Box': On The Run

This ensemble of artists with and without learning disabilities are empowered in a glowing production.

Axis Theatre
Feb 11-12

My review of Memory Box coming up after the jump ...

Equinox Theatre Company, an inclusive ensemble based in Kilkenny consisting of artists with and without learning disabilities, revive their 2013 play. In a fictional world a man (Shane Byrne) is forced to flee his wife and home when soldiers come knocking for him. He makes his way on foot and by train, desperate to cross the border, clutching a box of keepsakes that when opened release memories that shed light on his life. 

The imagined 1940s and threat of hostile storm-troopers carry ominous allusions to Nazi Germany, a time when vulnerable members of society were ruthlessly persecuted. However, difference is celebrated in this glowing production with many characters endowed with special abilities, the effects of which are dynamically realised in Anthony Hanley’s sound design, Eoin Winning’s lighting and Medb Lambert’s rigorous direction. 

The staging places strong emphasis on the visual and seems tailored to the talents of the performers. For example, Byrne, who doesn’t speak throughout, is well studied and moves close to a professional mime. Equinox have developed a rich theatrical style in which all its players are empowered.   

What did everybody else think?

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