Theatre review: The Forgettory

Poignant and relatable stories that marry sadness with humour hold an audience spellbound in writer Tracy Crisp’s solo show The Forgettory – a sell-out at the Adelaide Fringe which is back for a season at Bakehouse Theatre.

Oct 24, 2019, updated Oct 24, 2019

I went to see The Forgettory because I know Tracy Crisp’s work through various literary magazines; small publications garner small communities that thrive on support.

I expected the one-woman show to be a lyric monologue, which it is, but I also thought it might be a showy spoken word event and therefore prepared myself to be unsurprised. I was wrong.

The South Australian writer has an impressive ability to keep things real and simple – to just tell stories, marrying sadness with everyday humour.

In four vignettes dealing with drinking and insomnia as a cure for / symptom of homesickness, birth and the inherent fear for a child that becomes omnipresent, the death of one’s parents, and the demise of memory through old-aged dementia, Crisp manages to avoid over-dramatisation and steer clear of cliché. Yet there was still some serious sniffling and eye-wiping and measured breathing in the audience, which became a kind of soundtrack to her storytelling.

It’s affecting stuff, and the real beauty of it is that the stories themselves are not in any way spectacular. They’re relatable, they’re life, and though they very much belong to Tracy Crisp, you’ll know them, too.

There’s a soft and lilting rhythm to Crisp’s words and she’s got a comic’s timing, so the 50-minute ride is a smooth and rewarding one. The Forgettery was a favourite at this year’s Fringe and this out-of-festival season is a good way to catch the show: less hoopla; more room for reflection.

The Forgettory is at the Bakehouse Theatre until October 26.


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