Combining a lyrical text, immersive staging and a direct, poetic performance style, Autobiographer draws us into the unravelling mind of the central character, Flora. Voiced by multiple performers, Flora reveals an evocative portrait of a life refracted through the lens of dementia. It was a tender, detailed and provocative work.
“There is so much I could write about the lighting and sound you and your team have created. My word, it’s a sensorial overload. It represents the closing and opening of brain cells and the nervous system. It represents the slow diminishing of control over memory and brain activity. It is perfect, it makes a feast for your eyes and ears, and I could have easily have let out an awe-inspired gasp (my conscious mind stopped me). There was such beauty, such perfection within what you created. The lighting created a sea of lights above the performance space and with such careful timing they rippled with life and death. Each light bulb flickering with life, and each one slowly being extinguished too. Then there were moments when the lighting was used as a device to startle and provoke unnerved responses from the audience. We are caught in the headlights of stark lighting and the performance space is awash with light.” – Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre
I’m not sure it gets much better than this. Autobiographer was an extraordinary project to be part of. I could write about how rich-yet-spare the experience was for audiences, about how each aspect of the production was flawlessly integrated, about what a privilege it was to have the resources we had to make something this well-crafted for a small audience (the capacity was 80 people), about the awesome production management which made it possible (thanks Stuart), or about how it was impossible to capture any of this in photographs… but… I guess what I’m trying to say is, I miss this project.
Written and directed by Melanie Wilson
Composition and sound design by Melanie Wilson
Design by Peter Arnold
Lighting design by Ben Pacey
Photography by Monika Chmielarz