There is a delicate intimacy which explores time, storytelling and what makes something feel like home to Autoreverse. All the while Florencia Cordeu makes us feel at home in her curation of memory and how we relate to past versions of ourselves.
With heavy shades of Complicite’s The Encounter, we journey deep into the past of Cordeu’s character’s upbringing, through a series of tapes. The past is a terrifying one, and Autoreverse considers how time and perspective relate to each other in storytelling utilising some aspects of verbatim well.
I walk into the warm aesthetic of Battersea Arts Centre and am greeted by a Brechtian look, house light stay up for large parts of the show, there are 10 or so cassette tapes with microphones at each one and a harmonica sits mysteriously in the corner.
Cordeu and Omar Elerian do a good job of inviting us into the delicious ambiguity of the set, the microphones wait to make an unknown existence. Cordeu enters the stage with a sign that reads ‘Play Me’, breathes a ripple of nervous anticipation through the audience. From there, we see an unpretentious, authentic snapshot of memory, playing on the fact that she is condensing decades of history into a little over 80 minutes.
The soundscape is excellent and the layering of narratives is a strong point of this show. Foley work creates a meditative atmosphere, allowing our minds to wander within the realms of Elerian’s world.
While the tearfulness of the performer does add a poignancy to the overall performance, there is something lacking from the performance, Cordeu occasionally losing some of the liveness that makes this show tick.This musical collage gives us a window into what home is, how memories intersect and how time relates to storytelling, with a vulnerability that develops a strong relationship with the audience. 3/5
Review written by Tom Carter.
Autoreverse was shown from Monday 3rd until Saturday 22nd February 2020 at the Battersea Arts Centre. To find out more about the production, visit here…