Styx

How good is your memory? The night begins with a little laughter and audience participation as we are asked to remember the age old story of Orpheus. What began as chatter about the tragic greek myth evolved and bloomed into a clever, cut through piece inspired by Max Barton’s grandmother, Flora and her journey through Alziemer’s disease.

Though this show is about the fragility of memory and identity, this piece will undoubtedly stay with you forever

With meticulous details and minor keys, Second Body has produced a delicately layered piece full of myth and memory that digs down into the afterlife and through all that we experience along the way.

From the flickering filament bulbs to the scratches and slips of the gramophone, this show is a truly immersive and sensory piece of theatre. Playing on the idea of fragmented memories from each cortex of your brain; sections of the stage light up and voices speak from other pockets of the darkness. The lamp, situated at the front acts as a beacon, a vessel for Flora, as interviews with her punctuate the live performance. Warmth and love flow through these recordings as we hear snippets of her memories from the record shop, of her late husband, Mike and all of the music and melodies in between.

Contemplative electro to country blues, Barton and Jethro Cooke have an incredible musical range. The duo showcase everything from lo-fi electro to soulful songs that put to mind an early Radiohead and Hozier, all rolled into one. Despite having a reduced band due to covid, the performances from both Barton and Cooke are not lessened. The intimate staging adds a layer of closeness and connection to the show which is so sorely needed in a time of social distancing.

The flow of Greek mythology throughout this piece acts as a powerful metaphor for life, love and the act of looking back. Though this show is about the fragility of memory and identity, this piece will undoubtedly stay with you forever. A truly brave and beautiful show that deserves every bit of acclaim it gets.

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Reviews by Amy Macrae

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★★★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

This Total Theatre Award-shortlisted, Fringe World Award-winning theatre concert returns in a completely new form. Following a ten-time, five-star-reviewed international run in 2019-20, this extraordinary exploration of family, myth and memory loss comes back with remixed music and bearing wounds wrought by 18 months of disrupted human connectivity. What does it mean to lose the memories that make us who we are? How can we continue to be ourselves when we are separated from our loved ones? 'A gorgeously atmospheric, exquisitely lit, ear-tingling journey into the past and memory itself' (Lyn Gardner).

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