REVIEW: Tomorrow, Traverse Theatre ✭✭✭✭

Tomorrow Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

Traverse Theatre
Four stars

From hilarious black humour to scenes that have the audience in tears, Tomorrow is a visually striking show that cleverly attempts to capture the experience of dementia from the viewpoint of the sufferers and the carers. It is the latest production from Glasgow-based Vanishing Point Theatre Company which has won acclaim for its impressionistic plays that use action as much as words. Conceived and directed by Matthew Lenton, it grabs you from the start with its striking depiction of dementia as an identity-stripping mask that envelopes the wearer’s whole head. It centres on George, a young man heading to hospital to visit his wife who has just given birth to their daughter, but both he and the audience find this reality becomes fractured and confusing as the action evolves into a care home for elderly people with dementia.

Tomorrow Traverse Theatre

The bleak subject matter is balanced by much-needed black humour from the care home staff who cope through jokes and games while still trying to hold on to their compassion. The play deals sharply with the effects of dementia on people’s families and their carers but is at its most inventive when it attempts to capture the bewildering, terrifying experience of losing your memories and a sense of who and where you are. Along with a strong cast, the production’s visual and aural impact is a credit to the team including designer Jamie Harrison, lighting designer Kai Fischer, sound designer Mark Melville and costume designer Jessica Brettle. It is a powerful show that leaves you with unforgettable images and an uncompromising vision of old age and dementia.

Production shot by Mihaela Bodlovic

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