Memorial

Memorial

Memorial by Alice Oswald | Brink Productions

‘Magnificent … transcendentally beautiful … unutterably moving’ 
★★★★ Limelight Magazine (Australia)

WORLD PREMIERE The Dunstan Playhouse, 1-6 March 2018

Memorial had its world premiere at the 2018 Adelaide Festival. In September 2018 it will have a season at one of the world’s leading cultural institutions in London, the Barbican Centre. Conceived, commissioned, developed, created and premiered from and in South Australia, this grand theatrical vision boasts acclaimed local, national and international artists gathered together in an innovative multi-artform collaboration incorporating momentous community engagement.

CONCEPT Chris Drummond and Yaron Lifschitz DIRECTOR Chris Drummond COMPOSER Jocelyn Pook MOVEMENT Yaron Lifschitz DESIGN Michael Hankin COSTUMES Renate Henschke LIGHTING Nigel Levings SOUND Jane Rossetto ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR Benjamin Knapton MUSIC DIRECTOR Jonathan Peter Kenny CHORUS MASTERS Christie Anderson and Carol Young PRODUCER Lee-Anne Donnolley

ACTOR Helen Morse DANCERS Tobiah Booth-Remmers, Lina Limosani and Larissa McGowan MUSICIANS Zoe Barry, Louis Cann, Karen de Nardi, Quentin Grant, Jonathan Peter Kenny, Kelly McCusker, Laura Moody, Melanie Pappenheim, Siobhan Owen, Belinda Sykes and Tanja Tzarovska SOLDIER CHORUS featuring Aurora and The Festival Statesmen with members of La La Land, Tutti Choir and Poco Tutti, Choral Grief and the SOSA chorus.  

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival and Melbourne Festival. This project is supported by the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund. This project is assisted by Arts SA - Independent Makers and Presenters - Major Commissions Fund. This project is co-commissioned by the Barbican and 1418 Now, WWI Centenary Art Commissions. Presented in association with Adelaide Festival Centre.

  

        

 

Concept Chris Drummond and Yaron Lifschitz
Director Chris Drummond
Actor Helen Morse
Composer Jocelyn Pook
Movement Yaron Lifschitz
Design Michael Hankin
Costumes Renate Henschke
Lighting Nigel Levings
Sound Jane Rossetto
Associate Director Benjamin Knapton
Dancers Tobiah Booth-Remmers, Lina Limosani and Larissa McGowan
Music Director Jonathan Peter Kenny
Musicians Z
oe Barry, Louis Cann, Karen de Nardi, Quentin Grant, Jonathan Peter Kenny, Kelly McCusker, Laura Moody, Melanie Pappenheim, Siobhan Owen, Belinda Sykes and Tanja Tzarovska 
Producer Lee-Anne Donnolley
Chorus Masters Christie Anderson and Carol Young
Featuring Aurora and The Festival Statesmen

With members of La La Land, Tutti Choir & Poco Tutti, Choral Grief and the SOSA chorus and many individuals whose names will appear in the season program.

 

 


‘Memorial is a shattering excavation of the scars of war through poetry, dance and mind-blowing score’ The Conversation

‘The brilliance of Oswald’s writing lies in its combination of unrelenting singular focus with endless poetic invention’ The Conversation

‘Pook’s score is a golden stream of soft, devastating sadness: the sinuous reediness of oboe, shawm and clarinet; the pong and chime of bells; the wail and keen of counter tenor and Bulgarian and Macedonian vocals. The musicians are suspended on an illuminated bridge above the stage, like demi-gods. At its most climactic, Memorial’s music is almost literally mind-blowing.’ The Conversation

‘In bringing this piece into existence, director Chris Drummond shows two things. First, that his ability to handle the outsize tools of epic performance, previously on show in Night Letters and When the Rain Stops Falling, is now approaching the definitive. Second, that his interest in the human condition, in vulnerability, in drama, remains squarely at the centre of his vision.’ The Conversation

‘Helen Morse is magnificent. Drummond has astutely recognized the dramatic strength of the poet’s text and found an outstanding actor to deliver it. Morse is pitch-perfect. Droll, laconic, fierce, never sentimental, she effortlessly inhabits this lithe, earthy poetry, giving each line clarity, each name its sombre due. Dressed in a rough-spun mulberry red patchwork shift, she is diminutive in contrast to the chorus but compelling as the narrator, aghast at what she describes, but unflinching witness to this bright unbearable reality.’ The Australian

‘Memorial is a deeply moving piece of theatre with a sublime score… the cumulative effect of the list of dying warriors is a powerful statement about the tragic waste of life. The ending, as all the performers sing “thousands of leaves” over and over in soaring harmonies (having compared thousands of leaves to thousands of bodies) is unutterably moving and tears slid down faces all over the auditorium.’ Limelight Magazine

‘What is being worshipped in this extraordinary stage adaptation of the poem is life itself.’ Stage Noise

‘There aren’t enough superlatives with which to crown this Adelaide Festival production. It creates for its audience one of those lifetime experiences, all at once beautiful, transcending, sensual, original and relevant.’ Barefoot Review

‘Cleverly choreographed by Yaron Lifschitz, artistic director of Queensland’s Circa, the chorus is an almost continual presence on the stage, variously representing humanity and changing landscapes as the poem move through space and time.’ Indaily

‘Set high above the stage where you imagine the gods would sit, a row of musicians and singers give life to an absolutely exquisite aural landscape, composed by multi-awarding composer Jocelyn Pook.’ Indaily

‘The three key elements – Pook’s score, the huge human chorus and Oswald’s powerful imagery given voice by Morse – combine to create an insightful and intense requiem to all those whose lives have been affected by the immeasurable tragedy and senselessness of war.’ Indaily