Fringe 2013: Forget Me Not review

Who’s never had the urge to find out how an alzheimer afflicted patient solves a murder-mystery? That’s the foundation that Forget Me Not builds its narrative upon, and it’s a stupendously hilarious one-man performance that might leave you looking forward to the latest stages in your life – so much fun is it to watch a retired detective weave his way through the facts in front of him, and his own shoddy memory.

As a writer, I’m a sucker for the for people who can manipulate words into a calculated sequence of events. Whether they do it to make you laugh, to make you cry, or to pull your baffled senses along at their own pace, people with this skill are masters in my eyes – And Rob Gee definitely fits that description.

You’ll see him wear the hat of several distinct dementia ward patients, their nurses, and even a few detectives from the local police. While plenty of solo-acts pull off the multi-character schtick quite well, you don’t often see it executed with the attention to detail that Gee brings to the stage.

Whether it’s the intricacies of one of the patients ticks, or the precise arch of a nurses back, he nails all the physical traits necessary to set each character apart, and switches between them effortlessly. Where Gee’s characterization really draws you in though is with his use of the English language.

Forget Me Not is the best solo-show I’ve seen this year by far

One of his characters mashes similar figures of speech together in a failed attempt to play the part of Lead Detective, another one often speaks in rhymes in order to better remember his thoughts. It wouldn’t have even mattered what the play was about, or what the characters said; the way that they said it was a huge part of the entertainment I derived.

However, what Gee’s cast said was also great. The clues that he dropped into the dialogue between characters were subtle; as you’re watching the show, it’s as if nobody on stage or in the house knows that the clues are there, but as the story chugs along, everyone puts two and two together at the same pace. It’s the best way to experience a good mystery, but it wouldn’t work without a great storyteller, and Gee is a great storyteller.

Of the new solo-shows I’ve seen this year, Forget Me Not is the best by far. I can’t think of a valid reason that anyone could squandered the opportunity to see this show as it rolls through town. So don’t waste it. Do the right thing.

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