One overarching theme at this year’s Manipulate festival has been ritual. From the religious worship of Greek Gods in Bestiaires, the nomadic daily habits in It’s Such a Beautiful Day, through to our self-destructive will to engage in warfare as told in Grit, the routines that define and devastate our lives are not told as precisely as they are in Polina Borisova’s Go!. This entrancingly poignant account of vanishing memories is a tonally exceptional journey through one elderly woman’s recollections of former loves.
With exquisite technical skill, Borisova uses a roll of tape to map out the figures in her mind. Against a black curtain backdrop, she sketches out an old flame, the cat that she still puts food out for and the doorway which may lead to even deeper alcoves of her psyche. There’s a sadness to these losses, as she glances back on life rather than ahead, yet so much dry humour has been buried within the piece you can’t help but feel uplifted. The moment of clarity upon noticing the outline of a cat in the window provides as much joy as it does empathy. Fragile, powerful and meticulous, this is earnest visual theatre which inspires one to consider life and its encounters with greater fondness than we do regret.