Forgetting Natasha

State of Flux brings dementia, and those who suffer from it, vividly to life

★★★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 11 August 2011

A blend of emotive poetry, striking digital media work and dynamic dance, Forgetting Natasha deals with issues of identity and memory. The piece examines the life of an ordinary woman suffering from dementia-induced memory loss, and gently poses questions about the role that memory plays in making us who we are.

Anna Mae Selby's script takes the form of a book of memories that the eponymous Natasha has written in an attempt to stop things slipping away from her. It charts her life, from childhood to senility, with the three performers stepping into Natasha's shoes to recall the moments that the character feels are most important to her.

The company are better dancers than they are actors, but the dance and digital media elements of the piece are strong enough to make up for any weaknesses in the delivery of the verse. Having the three elements playing simultaneously—with the performers sometimes interacting directly with the projections—creates an impressive multi-layered effect that provokes a visceral response in the audience.

Dementia is a cruel affliction, robbing its sufferers of their memories and setting them adrift on a sea of anonymity. By placing this heartbreaking story of forgetting in the hands of three vibrant young performers, dance company State of Flux brings this affliction, and those who suffer from it, vividly to life.