Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: The Nature of Forgetting

Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: The Nature of Forgetting

To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is The Nature of Forgetting, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 3 – 27 August 2017. I caught up with writer and director Guillaume Pigé:

Describe your show in three words.

Heart-breaking. Heart-warming. Sweaty.

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

This is going to be our fourth time at the Fringe!

In 2012 we brought The Gambler, in 2013 we brought The Little Soldiers, in 2015 we brought Blind Man’s Song.

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?

We are really excited about seeing all of these:

– Nocturnes by Imitating The Dog

– Plan B for Utopia by Joan Clévillé Dance

– Heads Up by Kieran Hurley

– The Flying Lovers of Vitesbk by Kneehigh

– Todd and God by Richard Marsh

– Offside by Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish

– Education, Education, Education by Wardrobe Ensemble

– Testosterone by Rhum and Clay

– Secret Life of Humans by New Diorama

– Un Poyo Rojo by Poyo Rojo

– Different Party and Trygve vs A Baby by Trygve Wakenshaw
How do you feel to be performing at Pleasance Courtyard?

We are thrilled to perfoming at The Pleasance again this year. It is our fourth time with them and it has always been an absolute pleasure. We have been able to grow and develop with them over the years and it really feels like home in Edinburgh. Also, we will be performing in Pleasance Forth this year, it is one of their bigger spaces and we feel privileged to be on that stage.

Who or what are your inspirations?

The short answer to this is: what else would I be doing between lunches?!

More seriously I don’t tend to think about it that way. I enjoy every moment of it! I, of course, enjoy being on stage with all of the others. But I also thoroughly enjoy (and I mean it!) hiring the van, making a tour schedule, contacting venue managers and discussing about audiences, negotiating deals, loading the van, applying for funding, unloading the van, giving out flyers and try to convince people that if there is only one show that they are going to see this year then it has to be The Nature of Forgetting!

What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?

Hike up to Arthur’s Seat, see shows that you would not normally go and see, look after yourself, don’t bother bringing nice clothes, go to the baked potato shop on Cockburn Street, bring your stapler and most importantly stay open, generous and playful

What are the future plans for your show?

The dream is to tour the world and keep touring the world! At the moment, it looks like we are going to start with the UK in the Spring 2018 and then the US for a month in the Autumn 2018, which is extremely exciting!

This year we are also part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase, so hopefully that will help us start some interesting conversations with programmers from all around and help us share our work with new audiences.

What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?

Kiss & Cry by Charleroi Danses as part of the London International Mime Festival 2017.

Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?

The Nature of Forgetting deals with a difficult subject and one that is very close to most people’s heart. We all know someone who is or has been affected by this condition – dementia (our main character, Tom, is living with early onset dementia). We knew from the start that the dangers were to end up with everyone feeling miserable at the end of the show or for us to be overly sentimental.

The piece is still relatively new as we have only performed it at the London International Mime Festival and at Latitude, but judging from the responses we have received, it seems that the show is neither of those and just profoundly human and ultimately very positive. It seems that people connected with the work in a deep and intuitive way and that it will live with them for a long time.

Ultimately, the piece is not about dementia but the fragility of life and that eternal ‘something’ we all share which is left when memory is gone. So maybe our three words should have been: Fragile. Life. Eternal.


Writer/ Director: Guillaume Pigé

Producer: Theatre Re

Design: Katherine Graham (lighting); Malik Ibheis (costume/ props); Alex Judd (music)

Cast: Louise Wilcox, Eygló Belafonte; Matthew Austin; Guillaume Pigé; Alex Judd; Chris Jones; Kieran Pearson 

Image courtesy of Danilo Moroni

The Nature of Forgetting plays Pleasance Courtyard as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 3 – 27 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.