The Dead Memory House @ Summerhall
Outer of the arch...
We are shown into what looks like a typical Edinburgh flat, all three female protagonists arrive and a fantasy journey like no other ensues. The Dead Memory House is not just a performance, it is a window into a discreet selection of dreams and memories, where the audience plays the role of the third eye looking into the past of the characters.
What makes the performance unique is the meticulous attention to detail that has gone into the set design, that gives an unparalleled aura of authenticity. The result is that the audience is no longer a voyeur, but an actual participant in the lives of the vulnerable characters.
Shelves are stacked with books, thimbles and old photographs which are contained in empty jam jars. This curiosity is actually a major focal point of the story and an intriguing way that the characters record and document their thoughts and feelings.
Bea, Anne and Sylvia are typical creative young women who read Virginia Wolf, paint, sketch and talk enthusiastically about photography. Photography and the idea of capturing a moment or memory is one of the main themes of the piece. The story involves past loves and laments. This in itself, along with the closeness of the performance, creates a heightened tension and anxiety in the air that you can cut with a knife. The awkwardness adds to the vulnerability of the characters, causing us to empathise with them even more.
The Dead Memory House manages to do a unique thing, to capture the essence of the complicated relationship that close friends have with one another. The bold performance of the three players from Theatre Corsair sculpt a beautiful dreamscape with a pure and raw physicality that needs to be experienced.