The Memory of Water - Review

Following the death of their mother, three sisters gather at the house to prepare for the funeral.

Teresa is an obsessive and practical self-made martyr; Mary, a doctor nursing a loss from the past and Catherine, who uses drugs and has had sex with 78 men.

There is uneasiness in their relationship and the enforced reunion leads to bickering. They all harbour childhood grudges against not only against each other but also their mother. The play explores their recollections and the fragility of memory. There is confusion over what happened and to whom.

The play is a wonderful blend of hilarious comedy and painful angst that provided a rich and entertaining evening.

Along with a delightful set, the lighting and original music created an appropriate eerie atmosphere. Sensitive direction from Alex McQuillen-Wright was matched with superlative acting.

There was another very fine performance from Eleanor Gamper as Vi, the mother, who appears in the dreams of Mary.

Andy Bell, as the dour Frank, exercised his talent for droll humour whilst Marc Solomon had the un-glamorous task of portraying the weak-willed lover of Mary.

Playing the sisters were an extraordinary talented trio of talented actors.

Alexis Hills excelled as Teresa, particularly in the scene where her drunkenness unleashed pent up fury. It was a master class in playing a drunk – believable and not a caricature.

Laura Bennett managed to capture well the coolness and the vulnerability of Mary. Her final scene with her mother was most moving.

But it was Jett Tattersall that stole the show by giving a brilliant comic portrayal as the zany Catherine – an outrageous child that never grew up. It was a performance of sheer delight.

 

Barrie Jerram

14 October 2006