Enhanced Program Notes

The Forgettory

The Forgettory: Enhanced Program Notes

Although my shows are performed live, they have a high audio content so if you are blind or have low vision you might find that they have good accessibility.

Because I'm an independent artist with a tiny budget, I can't generally afford to have audio descriptions for individual shows. however, I have been working to develop Enhanced Program Notes. These notes provide contextual information beyond the script you will hear at the performance. I include these notes as written text on this website and also as audio files on my soundcloud page.

These notes are currently under development, and I will have them ready in time for the next season. In the meantime, I have included the text from the printed program.

From the written program

Writer and performer's note

I’ve always been aware of the mysteries and power of memory. When my parents argued, there was nearly always a point where Dad would say to Mum, ‘Elephant Memory!’ His tone was equal parts awe and dismissal … and my mother’s reply was equal parts gloat and dismissal.The mysteries of memory only grew more fascinating as I got older: why was I able to learn how to say my alphabet backwards in half an hour the night before my matric biology exam, but I still can’t recite my nine times table?  

When I began The Forgettory I thought I was writing about the mechanics of how memory works. Drawing on my recently-completed postgraduate studies in psychology, the first piece I wrote was a snappy poem about synapses and dendrites (such wonderful words, they haven’t made it into this script, but they will appear somewhere else I’m sure). But the more I wrote, the more I realised I was writing about how memory works on us … how it shapes our relationships, and how it shapes our understanding of ourselves. So The Forgettory is told in four short parts—Insomnia, Birth, Death, Dementia—each exploring a different time of life and a different family relationship.

The Forgettory builds on the work I began in Pearls at last year’s fringe. Together, they form a significant change in my work which has been focused on publication through novels, short stories and essays. South Australia’s festival culture is not without its issues for our arts community, but at its best the fringe culture encourages us to stretch ourselves and find new ways of creating. For me, this has meant an opportunity to extend my writing beyond written publication to live performance. I dabbled in stand-up many years ago, but going into Pearls I hadn’t acted since I wasGrandpa Joe in Port Pirie Youth Theatre’s 1983 production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.Through many long lunches, Maggie Wood helped me to understand how to make the shift to writing for performance, while Ross Vosvotekas (Pearls) and Maggie (TheForgettory) have both helped me to understand how I might get my scripts to work on stage. In my creative life, staging these two works has been one of the most deeply satisfying and enriching experiences that I have had.

Thank you to my family who appear in The Forgettory especially to Leo for his openness in having his story shared.

Director's note

I was thrilled when Tracy asked me to direct The Forgettory.

I am a big fan of her writing – both her novels and her previous Fringe show,  Pearls and her stand-up comedy.

I love the poetic aspect of her writing, and her words have a unique rhythm. This posed a challenge in direction – to optimise the theatricalexperience while allowing the natural cadence of the writing and Tracy’s personality to flow through unimpeded.

The paradox of the universal being entirely personal lives strong inthis piece. I doubt there will be anyone who sees it who can resist reflectingon their own experiences in similar situations, and this is the real magic oftheatre – to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary and place our compassionand humanity exactly where it should be – at the centre and forefront of ourlives.

Maggie Wood