Complicite's Mneumonic at the National Theatre

Mneumonic is a dream-like cinematic journey through past, present and future.

Complicite's Mneumonic at the National Theatre

Khalid Abdalla opens the performance with a candid, TED Talk-like stand-up routine. He guides us through intriguing contemplations on the nature of memory, suggesting that memory lies in connections and that remembering is a form of imagining. In a therapeutic exercise, he asks the audience to put on blindfolds and touch the veins of a leaf to imagine the lines of ancestry leading us to our present. And when we open our eyes, we are transported into the magical world of the unfolding story.

Khalid Abdalla's character grapples with the mysterious disappearance of his partner, Eileen Walsh, nine months earlier. Concurrently, Eileen Walsh's character embarks on a quest across Europe in search of her father. Interwoven with these narratives is the enigmatic tale of the Ice Man. These intertwined storylines serve as fertile ground for exploring profound themes and existential questions. It is both expansive in the breadth of how these stories connect and the wider world and both minute in the detailed subjective experience of memory.

However, the true beauty of the experience lies in its storytelling. Fluid and fascinating transitions contribute to the dream-like quality in changing time and place which adds to the journey's flavour. Michael Levine’s morphing set design, coupled with Paul Anderson’s lighting, vividly brings to life the sensation of walking through time and captures the essence of memories.

The beating heart of this show is the examination of humanity and much like the naked actors on stage you leave with a feeling of home in your own skin.

Header Image Credit: John Persson

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Monica Cox

Monica Cox Voice Reviewer

Monica is a theatre and film director, writer and dramaturg with a particular interest in queer and female stories. She has a degree in Spanish and Russian and a Masters in Theatremaking.

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