Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
26 August 2011 WOS Rating: Art and science collide with mesmerising effect in Analogue’s latest production, which is inspired by a true story. In 1953, at the age of 27, Henry Molaison underwent experimental brain surgery in an attempt to cure his epilepsy. He emerged without the ability to form new memories and went on to become “the world’s most famous amnesiac” and a living case study for the advancement of theories in cognitive neuropsychology.
Two years ago, the brain of the late Molaison – Patient HM – was dissected live online (watched by some 400,000 people) into the “2401 objects” of the title, carefully preserved slices now being housed and examined at The Brain Observatory in San Diego, under the direction of Dr Jacopo Annese.
It’s a fascinating story and Analogue tell it in this three-hander – written by Hannah Barker, Liam Jarvis (who also direct) and Lewis Hetherington, devised and performed by Melody Grove, Pieter Lawman and Sebastien Lawson – as part lecture, part memory play. The illusory and transitory nature of the latter enhanced by
Anike Sedello’s set, a mesh screen that displays flickering images, deepens distances, and rolls and spins to sweep up scenes and characters.
Both of the male actors play Henry, one pre- and the other post-operation, while Grove portrays the three women in his life: a girl-next-door romantic interest, a nurse and his mother, who he asks for daily for years because he can’t retain the knowledge of her death.
The impact of the human story, the tragedy that a few knife slices wielded on one man and those he loved, is never fully felt, but as we place our hands on our own heads and contemplate the precious cargo of memories and knowledge held within, we’re asked to be thankful for our own functioning hippocampi – and the gratitude is much more keenly felt having seen this show.
- by Terri Paddock Related Content Back to Edinburgh Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...