There are cherished memories worth preserving for a lifetime and a day. There are unforeseen occurrences we purposely avoid reflecting upon in order to escape the pain. Tarragon Theatre’s heart-wrenching staging You Will Remember Me is just the theatrical poke needed to inspire us to approach each and every day of our existence as nothing less than the gift that it is.
That’s the impression one gets from this deeply tender portrait of the family fractures that surface when those we love most begin to fade away. It speaks to the mandatory compassion required for events outside our control and the altered role we all must play in response to those at the centre of the sadness.
This is the thematically captivating story of Edouard (R.H. Thomson) whose fall from academic grace is brought on when his brain is forced to ‘pull its own plug.’ The distant past can be recalled with relative accuracy for this public figure, information exchanged from conversations just 15-minutes earlier are impossible to retrieve.
A wife (Nancy Palk) begins to move on with her own life, a daughter (Kimwun Perehinec) and a son-in-law (Mark McGrinder) rise to their family responsibility calling, and a young woman (Michela Cannon) sees the world with new eyes as she settles in to Edouard’s lapsed consciousness. Their approach to playwright Francois Archambault’s touching text is beyond genuine and beauteous.
It is the perpetually masterful R.H. Thomson who takes playgoers to a hidden mental space awash with ironic truths about society’s evolving values and behaviour brought on by the social media revolution. Add in the character’s passion for the vanished political movement that no one seems to recognize and playgoers question if what’s happening to Edouard is happening to the rest of us differently?
Luckily, You Will Remember Me is not soon to be forgotten in this disappointing age of insensitivity.
Review by Steven Berketo
YOU WILL REMEMBER ME by Francois Archambeault March 1 – April 10, 2016 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $28.00 – $60.00 www.tarragontheatre.com 416-531-1827 CAST R.H. Thomson, Nancy Palk, Kimwun Perehinec, Mark McGrinder and Michela Cannon DIRECTOR Joel Greenberg SET & COSTUMES Denyse Karn LIGHTING Kimberly Purtell STAGE MANAGER Laura Baxter