Forgotten features the interconnecting stories of four elderly people living in retirement homes and care facilities around Ireland, who range in age from 80 to 100 years old. Flor was once a contract farmer who built Ireland with work from its civil war rubble; Dora was once a well-to-do girl from a wealthy family with an eye for a handsome man; Eucharia goes shopping every week to catch a glimpse of the girl she admires from afar; and Gustus feels abandoned by his daughter who has no time for him.
In his preface to the play, Pat Kinevane describes visiting his aunt in hospital where he felt the inspiration he had for the play: 'I looked past her bed and saw – what appeared to me – was an endless row of others – just lying there. I wondered if they had received many visitors, or if some of them had been perhaps, forgotten. It hurt me to think of that – the reality of being no longer thought of, no longer touched, no longer cherished like we are when we first arrive on Earth. Strange thoughts haunted me – questions that were violent yet measured . . . does human dignity diminish with each passing second of our lives? Do we value newness more than age? Does the novelty of the newborn fade with each desperate heartbeat?'
Challengingly dark and startlingly hilarious, Forgotten was described by the press as: ‘an unequivocally beautiful piece’ (Scotsman); ‘beautifully written and vivid’ (New Yorker); conveying ‘the secrets, the hidden past, of the aged, and the dignity often behind their quaint seemingly innocuous bearing’ (New York Times).
Forgotten was produced by Fishamble: The New Play Company at over sixty Irish venues, in eight European countries, and in four U.S. cities between 2007 and 2012.