MARJORIE PRIME at Plein Theater in Amsterdam

In this interesting production – the second by the Festive Fox Players – they subtly and sensitively explore a ‘science fiction’ style future. The personal and often painful journeys of the protagonists in Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer nominated play lead us to an end where there is no ending.

Majorie opens the play with Walter Prime engaged in a seemingly harmless conversation about the past, the present but not the future. Hinting to the audience that there is something unusual about this coupling, it becomes clear that Majorie is surfing from dementia: characterized by a clear decline in memory and other thinking skills. We learn that this has affected her ability to live alone as the scenes progress and see she is under the care of her anxious but caring daughter and loving son-in-law.

Cleverly crafted, the scenes allow the characters to take turns to reveal a little more of themselves and their dilemmas. The audience acts as a fly on the wall, falling witness to both gentle and heart warming reminiscing as well as agonizing and desperate arguments. As the often tragic plot unfolds, it enables us to piece their lives together and try to solve the puzzles put before us. And in doing so, we can’t help but reflect on our own world and begin to wonder whether A.I. should have a place in our lives let alone in our homes.

Ultimately, the play inspires questions about life and death. Through a series of interconnected narratives, the believable and talented actors guided the audience into contemplation: can we and do we ever truly let go of loved ones? How do we hold onto our own and our loved one’s memories? 

Finally, when leaving the theatre amid the patter of praise from the audience, the question left on my mind was: what is it to be human… are we nothing but memories?       Rose Fawbert Mills   28th September 2019

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