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This is Memorial Device | Riverside Studios

Based on the classic novel by David Keenan, this show is a hallucinatory journey back into the fictional history of Airdrie in the 1980s, telling the story of a mysterious (and little known) punk band legends of the time. It delves deep into the band’s history, as Ross Raymond, played by Paul Higgins, reminisces about the time when hopes and dreams did not have a cost.

To tell the story, Higgins dresses up and gives instruments to three mannequins, which represented some of the members of the band. It is an original idea that adds to the ‘hallucinatory’ aspect of the show. The fourth member was a lot more unique as it was represented by, what looked like, a papier-mâché head with colourful paper as curls. Perhaps it was a way of differentiating the band member from the others, as he was, according to Ross, the special one.

The show, however, is not just told from the perspective of Ross as it uses recorded interviews of people whose lives were touched and changed by the band, for the better or for the worse. All of this, combined with the soundtrack by Stephen Pastel and Gavin Thomson, gives a story that is at times confusing but overall powerful about the ability

music has to tie a community together.

Overall, despite its sentimental reminiscence of the past, it felt as though the story got more and more confusing over time, perhaps a hint at how life for Ross and the band got progressively more muddled. It is a show with a lot of potential, but that could benefit from a bit more clarity for the sake of its audiences. This is Memorial Device is playing at Riverside Studios until 11th May. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Mihaela Bodlovic


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