In a wonderful fusion of poetry, storytelling, music and sound, I Remember by Steven Fraser is one of six shows performing as part of The Litmus Fest at The Pleasance Theatre. The writer himself lives with Asperger’s syndrome and this performance draws the audience in to one person’s journey of autism in an absorbing sensory experience.
It takes the form of a single diary entry being recorded on to cassette tape, the character uses this time to speak to their mother and wife and to share memories of the past. It’s a walk through the events that have led to this moment, from childhood Christmas presents and birthdays, to diagnosis, and the steps that have to be taken just to live day to day.
Spoken word poet Georgina Jeronymides-Norie performs the monologue with incredible passion, the dynamic writing takes on a song like quality as Jeronymides-Norie serenades us with skill and dexterity. The story itself jumps around a little, meaning we never quite know where it will go next, which adds an element of excitement to the overall piece.
In the background, as Georgina Jeronymides-Norie speaks, there is James Gow creating a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. Using traditional instruments, as well as less traditional ones – I’ve never seen a coffee cup used to make music before! Gow layers up this symphony of sound using a system of live looping, which is an incredible skill. Beginning somewhat tranquil, it builds up over the course of the performance to an almost deafening crescendo, the audience are even provided with ear defenders for when that moment arrives. But despite the increasing volume it remains hypnotic throughout, melding beautifully with the spoken word to create an intricate soundscape.
I Remember takes the audience along on the authors journey, through a tumultuous and ordered mind. The combination of spoken word and this intricate live soundtrack helps the audience to become invested in the story and the character, and leave the theatre feeling like they have not just heard a story, but experienced it.