Memento was a fun piece of site-specific theatre best explained as a ‘dramatic audio tour’. Groups of ten people were picked up by a boat in North Greenwich and taken across the river to Trinity Buoy Wharf. At that point they were each given an mp3 player and headphones and all told to press ‘play’ at the same time.
The group then split and converged as each person was guided on one of several different paths. The other members of the audience acted as unwitting figures in each other’s stories – so, for example, while two people were taken on an adventure into the lighthouse, other people outside were looking up and hearing a story about two figures in a lighthouse and the tragedy that befell them.
Trinity Buoy Wharf has a wonderfully rich history, and the soundtrack revealed some of the area’s darker secrets, including the disastrous launch of HMS Albion (which killed 37 bystanders) and the electrical experiments of Michael Faraday, who had a workshop on the site.
It was an atmospheric and exciting way of exploring an area’s past. It’s a format that deserves more exploration too.