Review: Forget me Nots ****

DANCE AND PHYSICAL THEATRE

Forget me Nots

Army at the Fringe with Summerhall, East Claremont Street. Venue 210

August 12th, 14 to 19, 21

**** Four stars

The time is 1941, and Nazi forces have spread across Europe. A substantial number of British soldiers and stationed in Iceland. One, Thomas, is stationed near the village where Siggi and Greta live. These two have been friends from childhood, and it is thought they may marry, but Siggi has a secret, one that at this time it would be social suicide to reveal.

Thomas becomes friends with them both; they fall for his charm. Thomas and Siggi become lovers, and Greta is willing to cover for them as they socialize together. But there are rumours. In this small community where everyone knows everyone, Thomas suggests that it would be best for Siggi to actually sleep with Greta. Siggi says this is not possible. Thomas advises, “Think of me.” He comes to regret these words, and the consequences cause him much pain.

This is a piece of queer theatre that combines dance and physical theatre with dialogue and drama. It was premiered in Iceland in the early summer and is now on tour. It is the latest successful presentation devised by Rokkur Friggyar. The combination of movement and dance and spoken story works very well, with the one underlining and giving depth to the other, which continues with all three finding themselves in Rekyavik , and then on beyond the war. This tale has the potential to be a saga, and I felt after seeing it that it could almost be embellished into a novel.

The relationships are sensitively and affectingly conveyed; we live through the characters’ trials and can almost sense the controlling community that surrounds them and does much damage to their dreams and their hopes of happiness. However, the freshness and warmth of the cast and the depth to which they inhabit their roles, makes this in the end an inspiring and uplifting tale of people achieving times of joy against the odds. It is well worth making the effort to leave the main fringe area and visit this venue for this show.

Tony Challis