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Hold On Let Go review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘warm and thoughtful’

Luca Rutherford and Alex Elliott

How much of our lives do we remember? Are there benefits to forgetting? Luca Rutherford’s nuanced, thoughtful show explores the role that memory plays in our relationships with others – our parents, our children, our friends – and with ourselves.

Rutherford is 28; her co-performer Alex Elliott is 56. Their brains contain different things (though Alex doesn’t remember all that much of the 1980s). As a loaf of sourdough bakes, the pair discuss the inevitable fallibility of memory, from the poignancy of being unable to remember the voice of a dead parent to the Pact of Forgetting, a decision made by the Spanish government to avoid dealing with the legacy of Francoism – an act of state-sanctioned collective amnesia.

Rutherford and Elliott are genial performers with a pleasing rapport. They perform this conversational essay to a soundtrack of songs by Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, which add to the fuzzy, friendly atmosphere. Rutherford frequently clambers over Simon Henderson’s orange and green kitchen-cum-climbing frame set, or perches on top of it, to observe things from above.

The script meanders a bit and Annie Rigby’s gently engrossing show runs out of steam before the end, but it leaves you with the taste of fresh bread in your mouth and a more general sense of warmth. Memories are made of this. Maybe.


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Warm, thoughtful, genially performed show about the complexity of memory