There are two reasons why you should go see Alison Farina’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’.
The first is to see Mneme (played by Meghan Leslie), the muse of memory, sent to aid and ease professor Dante DeLucca’s descent into dementia.
She is quite literally divine. She is everything a deity (albeit minor) should be. Elevated above mere mortals as the audience enter and settle, Mneme sits graceful and statuesque on top of the bookcase ladder for what must feel like an eternity. Yet once the show begins she is personable and playful in her connection with both the audience and Dante. Nibbling chocolate whilst observing the mortals, joking with the audience and sensitively portraying scenes from Dante’s life with his wife – she is effortlessly engaged and engaging.
The second reason to see it is the emotional truth at the centre of the piece: that we are the sum total of our memories and without them our bodies are mere empty shells.
Dante’s recognition and response to that realisation and his daughter Iphee’s devotion to her father despite her own life being less than perfect are believably painful portrayals of a situation no one wants to be faced with. The story is told with gentle humour and sensitivity.
Playing at the Alma Tavern, Bristol, Saturday 14th September and the Rondo Theatre Bath, frin 29th September.