A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca


25 June 2024
National Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Mnemonic, at the National Theatre until 10 August, is a deeply emotional production. Running for two hours without an interval, patrons are asked to place their phones into a small bag before the performance starts, something that would be very useful in pretty much every show, taking away the distraction and annoyance of bright lights flashing on and off throughout the audience. It’s almost become a given that people will check their phones throughout a show, a habit that is so detrimental to immersion in the moment, for phone users and everyone else in the auditorium. But before this turns into an all our rant of lost theatre etiquette and people’s inability to fully experience a moment free from distractions, let’s get back to the play!

Mnemonic is about memory, about remembering and experiencing, about the human experience, who we are, where we come from, how we define ourselves based on the past. Effortlessly blending together several storylines to create an inspiring and touching mesh of how history defines our today.

The show starts with an emotional experiment involving the audience, utilizing just a few items and fully black-out lighting. A very grounding experience at the beginning of a show, allowing the audience to fully settle into themselves and their mind, releasing the constant stream of thoughts and focussing on something deeper, more profound.

While the story dances between a man looking for his lost lover, a woman looking for her lost father, and the discovery of an ancient body frozen in time on a mountain side, giving us never before seen information about human history, there is a connecting thread between all of these experiences. A deeply human connection of longing for a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.

Mnemonic is a grounding, touching show that longs to be seen. If you’re looking for a different theatre experience that will leave you pondering the meaning of memory and history, this is absolutely the show for you!

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