Hyperthymesia

Hyperthymesia is a mixture of physical theatre and emotional monologues that certainly wasn’t a show that had the audience jumping onto their feet in appreciation. Admittedly a difficult subject to bring to the stage, Cece Otto’s attempt to connect the wider world to a mostly unknown condition did little to entice the audience. Instead this one woman show only left me feeling confused and underwhelmed, even if I learnt a little bit on the way.

Although interesting, Hyperthymesia was not overly compelling to watch and – hindered by a wanting story line – did little to grip the audience.

The show follows the inner monologue of a woman with hyperthymesia, the clinical term describing someone who can remember every single moment of their life. The plot delves deep into what it’s like to live with this sort of backlog of memories, learning how she deals with it and reliving the moments with her as she brings them out in front of her with click of her fingers.

The mishmash of emotional stories, scientific explanation and interludes of dance in this show at times leave me feeling slightly confused. In order to link the personal tales with the scientific jargon, there are moments of slow dance overlaid by dramatic music and sound effects. Although the dance reflected the script well, it seemed somewhat detached in the midst of the story; a failed attempt to bring a little bit life into the otherwise lacking storyline. Otto’s explanations about the disease and her daily dealings with it felt, to me, far more interesting that the stories that were brought to life this way.

The simplistic set up of the stage was necessary to make way for the energy and enthusiasm Otto brought with her; as is the nature of monologues, the spotlight was on her for the entire play and she managed to fill the stage with ease and, though by no means a phenomenal performance, it made up for the uneventful storyline. Although her bursts of emotion did feel overacted and slightly unnecessary at points.

Although interesting, Hyperthymesia was not overly compelling to watch and – hindered by a wanting story line – did little to grip the audience. The jumps between scientific explanation, dance and outbursts of overacted emotions made it slightly confusing to watch and left me wondering whether such a subject was meant to be done in the physical theatre style or whether it would have been best left as a simple but powerful monologue.

Reviews by Megan Atkins

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Performances

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The Blurb

Can you remember every day of your life? There are 12 known people in the world who are able to remember the events of any given date with stunning and accurate detail. Come experience the power of the brain.

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