2401 Objects-Written by Hannah Barker, Lewis Hetherington & Liam Jarvis. Devised by Analogue.

hippocampusFirst per­formed at the Old­en­bur­gis­ches Staat­sthe­ater, Ger­many on June 17, 2011.  UK pre­miere was at Pleas­ance Court­yard, Edin­burgh on August 3, 2011.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Dr. Jacopo Annese/Henry Molai­son                       Sebastien Law­son
Patient HM/Father                                                     Pieter Law­man
Nurse/Lauren/Mother                                               Melody Grove

Direc­tors:  Liam Jarvis and Han­nah Barker
Set Designer:  Anike Sedello
Light­ing Designer:  Alexan­der Fleis­cher
Sound Designer:  Alexan­der Gar­fath
Mul­ti­me­dia Designer:  Thor Hay­ton
Stage Man­ager:  Helen Mugridge

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Barker, Han­nah.   2401 Objects.  Oberon Mod­ern Plays, 2011.  Drama Library PR6102.A76335 A615 2011.

 

Set­ting:  The play takes place in Hart­ford, Con­necti­cut, 1953; the Bick­ford Health Cen­tre, Con­necti­cut from 1988–2008; and at The Brain Obser­va­tory, San Diego, 2011.

Lan­guage:  Contemporary

FATHER

No.  No Henry.  No.  Fine.  We’ll do noth­ing.  That’s right.  We’ll sit here and do noth­ing as we always do.  Sit here and do noth­ing and and just… Just qui­etly dis­ap­point each other for the rest of our lives.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   In 1953, Henry Molai­son, an epilep­tic, wakes up from an exper­i­men­tal surgery in which his hip­pocam­pus has been removed, with­out any rec­ol­lec­tion of the last two years of his life or the abil­ity to form new mem­o­ries.  In 2009, Dr. Jacopo Annese dis­sects his brain live on the inter­net and cuts it into 2401 slices.  The play explores his life before and after the surgery.

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mono­logues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

The only char­ac­ter who has any mono­logues in 2401 Objects is Dr. Annese, who also plays Henry as a young man.

p.42–43:  Dr. Annese explain­ing how Dr. Scov­ille per­formed the exper­i­men­tal surgery on Henry.  Comes from a much longer mono­logue. 

DR. ANNESE

First he had to pull down the skin from Henry’s fore­head. Then, he uses a hole saw—the type you wind by hand—to cut through the skull.  Just above one of the eye sock­ets, he grinds through the bone and removes a disc of about three cen­time­ters in diam­e­ter. He repeats this pro­ce­dure above the other eye. Two holes. Now he can see the brain.

 [Lines cut]

He snaps a few tiny metal clips onto the frayed lesion to seal it, and then does as good a job as he can putting Henry’s head back as it was.   

p.60–61:  Dr. Annese explain­ing what the hip­pocampii do. Long mono­logue, can be edited.

DR. ANNESE

Your thumbs rest just on top of your ears, and the heel of your hand is sort of on your fore­head. There you’ve got the idea.

And you can feel bone case under­neath your hands.  And under that, your brain. [Lines cut] And about five cen­time­ters trav­el­ling straight in from where your thumbs are, is where your hip­pocampii live.

[Lines cut]

You see Henry, Patient HM. There is a mem­ory there. And then, that mem­ory, is gone.

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes: 

p. 24–27:  Henry meets Lau­ren, who lives next door and is home from col­lege for the sum­mer. Henry, because of his con­di­tion, can’t live on his own or work or go to school any­more. Starts with

LAUREN

Hello.

and ends with

HENRY

Yes. Yeah. Bye. Yes.

p.38–40:  HM is watch­ing To Have and Have Not in the hos­pi­tal when the Nurse arrives to see what he wants for break­fast.  Since HM can’t make new mem­o­ries, they con­tin­u­ally have the same exchanges over and over again through­out the scene.  Starts with

NURSE

Really?

and ends with

NURSE

That’s lovely. Now. I’ll get you your breakfast.

 

 

Select Bib­li­og­ra­phy of Reviews and Crit­i­cism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

Bar­nett, L. (2011, Aug 19). Sci­en­tific odyssey in mem­ory of an amne­siac. The Daily Tele­graph, pp. 32.

Hutera, D. (2011, July 29). The­atre. The Times (Lon­don), pp. 13.

Jones, A. (2011, Aug 25). Amnesiac’s story lingers in the mem­ory. Inde­pen­dent Extra, pp. 16.

McMil­lan, J. (2011, Aug 11). Review:  2401 objects/what remains. The Scots­man, pp. 13.

 

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