Your curiosity about this show is provoked from the very beginning, when you are emailed with small extracts of information and given the details to download the extremely brilliant and clever app. The curiosity doesn’t end until you walk out of your final destination, and begin to process what had just happened around you in the previous two hours.
The app, which is used constantly throughout the show, perfectly works to direct you around the early scenes and set the basic themes of the plot. The first 20 minuets, which you spend alone around the centre of Bristol, with your headphones, listening to the specific app, allows you to become immersed in the whole environment and setting of the show. The peaceful orchestral music playing during the interaction with characters helps to build tension at the right moments, allowing the producers, in a way, to tell you how to respond to the events unfolding before and around you.
The actors involved are brilliantly convincing in the parts they play. They effortlessly blend into the real word, making it difficult to separate this dramatic world from everything else, which makes the whole experience so engaging and interesting, as you become responsible for moving the plot along to the next stages. The actors never once step away from their roles, and expect you to be just as engaged. this could be seen as the reason the show works so well, as both actors and audiences are responsible for the show moving forward.
The use of space around the centre of Bristol (within places such as The Bristol Hotel and College Green to name a few), was fantastic as it helped to bring a sense of realism, especially if you didn’t completely know your way around. It built the tension not only because you may or may not have known your way, but also because you most definitely didn’t know what you were about to walk into. I personally felt most anxious walking to the last destination as it was the furthest away, which allowed a chance to contemplate and imagine what possibly could happen next.
The audience was split into two groups and each was given the same situations, but at different intervals and in different manners. For example, dialogue between actors and individuals varied. This allowed each individual to gain their own personal experience. The 20 minutes alone with your headphones at the beginning of the show allowed you to decide, in a way, where the rest of the afternoon will go, as you alone decide what is important information and what can be discarded. This new, and innovative show is a masterpiece, and fantastically produced and created. I hope it goes on to great success.
The Memory Dealer was part of Mayfest in Bristol.