Exposures- Dublin Fringe Festival
September 29, 2008
You may have killed someone. I can’t vouch for that though, and neither can you. You’ve got amnesia you see. Bummer, I know. However, the lovely folks from Andy and Polly are here to help you help yourself. They’ll give you a camera, an envelope, and some clues, then push you off through Dublin’s wet and cobbled streets to try to solve the mystery of your past. Ready? Here we go…
Inside the envelope is a list, and some scraps of paper with names and addresses. We’ll need to visit these. Not yet though. Apparently, there’s someone waiting to meet us first. Exit the Curved Street Café, walk straight towards the wall, and then turn left. They’ll be there, waiting. It’s a rainy day, and as we slip down the hill umbrellas cover our faces. Around my neck is a yellow envelope. Our eyes peep down side streets, trying to find out who might be waiting. A statue beckons us from a recess of a concert hall. She hands us a package. Inside it are ten photographs, each with instructions written on the back, and a disposable camera. She speaks to us- ‘Don’t you remember me? Have I really changed that much? I haven’t seen you round here in ages.’ Sadly, we don’t remember her. She promises that all this will change. We’re to go somewhere quiet, and follow the instructions on the photos. It will all become clear in time. The photos are numbered, and each has a memory for us to recreate, using the disposable camera. Memory number one:
‘I used to love this once.’ Memory number two: ‘I felt like a fool’. Memory number three isn’t a photo though. It’s the address of the Irish Film Institute. We’re to go to the membership desk and ask for the manager. This is a bad idea. The manager is cross with us. Very cross. ‘How dare you come here? I can’t believe, I CAN’T BELIEVE you’d even THINK of coming here after what you’ve done.’ Oh dear. We apologise. We explain that we can’t remember what we’ve done. Maybe she could help us out? She sighs, shoves another address in our hand, and tells us never to come back again. We leave, and are a little confused. Memory number 4: ‘Take a photo of what you did here’.
The address tells us to go to a centre deep in the heart of Temple Bar. Once there, Christina in reception will tell us what to do. Christina isn’t impressed with us either. Nobody seems to like us in this town. If only we knew why. There’s a man in pyjamas waiting in the corner. He calls us over. We sit and have a chat. He seems to know us, from long ago. Apparently, something went terribly wrong. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He does want to give us something though. Memory number 5:
Back to the photos. Memory number 6: ‘Nothing is as it seems’. Memory number 7: ‘No escape’. Memory number 8: another address. Oxfam on Parliament St. The manager will know what to do. We’re ushered to a couch in the front of the shop, and a black plastic bag is dumped on our laps. From the bag, we pour out bloodstained books, and a tape recorder. We’re a little worried. We press play. A long scream rings through the shop. People stop and look at us. The scream continues, then two voices break in. ‘What are we going to do now? It’s as much your fault as anyone else. Don’t think you’re not guilty because you’re just standing there. What are we going to do now?’ Memory number 9: ‘Show me where you hid the body’.
We’re at the end of the list. There’s a phone number to ring, and more instructions to follow. Onwards to our ‘old haunt’- The Dame Tavern. Once we’re there, we’re to open the final envelope- the one hanging around my neck. Inside the envelope is a puzzle piece, with some words written on it. We add our piece to the half-completed puzzle on the table, and try to make out the final memory, fragmented across the cardboard. ‘Do you remember that time, when we were running through Stephen’s Green? And we didn’t know whether we were shouting or singing?’ True to form though, the vital pieces are missing. The hole in our past remains. The only thing we can be sure of are the photographs that we’ve taken.