A big hearted and bittersweet examination of family and memory by one of the UK’s best female playwrights, Shelagh Stephenson, 3 Big Men Productions in association with The Rehearsal Room presents The Memory of Water at Chapel Off Chapel for a limited season from 16 November 2017.
Trapped by a snowstorm in the hours before their mother’s funeral, three adult sisters endure a bickering, very humorous and unsettling reunion as each of their memories compete for authenticity by a woman who has helped shape and influence their lives; Teresa, the sensible ‘martyr’ and caregiver; Mary the middle child who is a classic cynical over-achiever; and Catherine the youngest wayward self-obsessed daughter.
Stephenson’s talent for witty dialogue and dynamic sense of theatre are evident in this story where emotions run high and family secrets are revealed as the three sisters bring past conflicts into present events with hilarious results. Deftly balancing moments of hilarity and sorrow, this extraordinary play explores the influence that parents exert on their children’s lives… even long after they have physically departed.
Director Richard Sarell (Neighbours, Blue Heelers, Home and Away) has assembled a stellar cast including Ana Mitsikas, Carissa McAllen, Karla Hillam, Janet Watson Kruse, Darren Mort, Soren Jensen and Sonia Street.
Shelagh Stephenson is an English playwright and actress. Her first stage play, The Memory of Water, premiered at Hampstead Theatre in 1996 and subsequently transferred to the West End, where it won an Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2000. Her screen adaptation of The Memory of Water was released in 2002 with the title, Before You Go.
Stephenson’s other plays include: The Memory of Water (1997), An Experiment with an Air Pump, Ancient Lights, Five Kinds of Silence (radio play 1996; stage play 2000), Mappa Mundi (2002), The People’s Princess (radio play; 2008), The Long Road (2008), and Harriet Martineau (2016).
As an actor, Stephenson has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in the television shows: Coronation Street, Rumpole’s Return, Sapphire & Steel, The Gentle Touch, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Boon, Paradise Postponed and Big Deal.
“… in its satisfying mixture of sardonic humour and deep emotion. Excellent jokes give way to festering resentments, booze and dope-fuelled hilarity to sudden glimpses of buried secrets and aching pain.” – The Telegraph (UK)
Director: Richard Sarell Featuring: Ana Mitsikas, Carissa McAllen, Karla Hillam, Janet Watson Kruse, Darren Mort, Soren Jensen, Sonia Street Designer: Sarah Tulloch Costume Design: Jodi Hope Production Manager: Margaret Fisk
The Memory of Water
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 17 – 26 November 2017 (preview: 16 November)
Information and Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au
Image: Carissa McAllen, Karla Hillam and Ana Mitsikas feature in The Memory of Water – photo by Rafa Tamburello