Past Half Remembered

Premiére date1 Aug. 2002
Produced byNew International Encounter
AudienceYouth (from 13)
ExpressionsMultidisciplinary, Theatre, Storytelling theatre, Physical theatre, Comedy, Musical theatre, Performance for youth
Running period1 Aug. 2002  
DurationOne hour
WebsiteNIE: New International Encounter: Visual Theatre

About Past Half Remembered

Past Half Remembered is the second part of the European narratives Trilogy by NIE.

Maria Michailovna is 101 years old. As a Russian, she has survived a century filled with revolutions, famine, political processes and world wars. Some things have been forgotten, others she remembers clearly. Today she waits for her first and only love...

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Press review

"(...)a totally beguiling, tragi-comic caper full of NIE's trademark mayhem and music" The Herald

"The show is completely hilarious, with wonderful physical comedy. The cast are delightfully expressive and completely adorable. They tease each other, jostle for the best roles and play with theatrical conventions. Yet they're able to switch from infectious fun to poignant scenes, accompanied by haunting music played by the cast" The Scotsman

"A beautiful and touching piece about a young woman who falls in love just before the first world war. Fragile, slightly mad and tinged with sadness." The Guardian

"An ensemble piece of storytelling in many languages, both easeful and joyous. The mixture of light and dark captures the essence of the stories they tell, which are of humanity winning against long odds, exploring the intimate while hinting at the epic. Clever, inventive, transformative." Total Theatre

"New International Encounter's funny, touching, dramatic, whimsical tale offers the perspective of those who remained at home….This magical slice of storytelling theatre uses every trick in the book and still leaves you wondering what they'll come up with next. The multinational cast of six speaks five languages, produces an endless array of props, many with unexpected uses, all the while supplying their own live music and revolutionary songs… Although comedy is the vehicle for this rollercoaster it never obscures the pathos of this very human story which, thanks to Aude Henrye's understated Maria, is utterly heartwarming and winning" The Stage

More about Past Half Remembered

Past Half Remembered by NIE is played using several languages, and is a humoristic journey through the most eventful century in human history. This was the sequel to My Long Journey Home, which also was based on stories in the press.

Past Half Remembered is a journey through the epic sweep of twentieth century Russian history. The Reds and the Whites battle, the Germans invade, tea is served from a samovar and there is a very big wedding. Actors change roles and get confused about which side they are on and someone gets an umbrella shoved up their nose.

Using an array of theatrical devices and a direct storytelling style NIE tell the story of Maria Michaliovna, at one moment an old lady sitting in her flat, in the next, a young girl dancing in the park.

Maria's life spans the Soviet century in a remarkable tale of love, loss, calamity and hope. As she looks back on her life past and present blend and blur as she is swept along by the sheer force of history.

* Winner of the Jury Prize 'Days of Youth Theatre' Festival, Mostar, Bosnia, 2002 * Winner of the Jury Prize for 'Best New Work' ASSITEJ Festival, Kristiansand, Norway, 2004. * Winner of the Jury Prize for 'best new work', TIBA Festival, Belgrade, Serbia, 2005. * Nominated as Best Visiting Production, Toronto 2004/5 * Winner of the Herald Angel Award and the Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Festival 2006. * Awarded the Daphne award for best children's and youth theatre performance in 2004.

Past Half Remembered received the Norwegian Daphne Award for best children and youth theatre performance in 2004: "The award goes to a performance of warmth and a big, burning heart. This is a musical, rhythmical, charming, on the move and moving performance played with a convincing artistic knowledge. The performance utilise practically all the effects of the theatre in a concentrated, focused and economical way, while giving room for the little warm human story in the big historical narrative. The Jury’s opinion is that this performance meets its target and that it is important for youth of today." (2004) The Daphne Award Jury, Norway.

Past Half Remembered by NIE was supported by the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs/MFA (travel grant/performing arts).


NIE: New International Encounter: Visual Theatre,, 01.08.2010,