The Palace Theatre/London Community Players presents ‘The Memory Of Water’ by Shelagh Stephenson. From November 1-11, The Palace Theatre is pleased to bring this hilarious yet emotional play to the community. The story concerns three sisters: Mary, Theresa and Catherine. The sisters are reunited when they attend their mother’s funeral. Memories are stirred up and secrets are revealed as they each come to terms with their mother’s death. This is a painful and funny play that is typical of most families who have gone their own way and done their own things only to reunite at such occasions. The play reveals how all the sisters are insecure and lonely. All are longing to be loved and find lasting happiness. But life rarely turns out that way. Laughter and tears, memories fade, blur and persist as the sisters reminisce, watched over by the ghost of the mother to whom they are preparing to say goodbye.
Mona Brennan-Coles is the producer and stage manager of this play. She felt connected to the story and felt that many members of the cast and crew did as well. It is a hard-hitting story that can relate to the audience.
“My thoughts are very personal and I think for each of us involved in the show, it’s very personal. It makes us remember our mothers. You can hear the tears as we remember things that we haven’t remembered before much like the journey that Mary and her mother went through.”
Natalie Hleba played Mary, who is one of the main characters of the show. This is her debut with London Community Players and her second theatre production. Though new to the stage, Natalie has always loved acting from a young age. The London community was very pleased with the performance and wishes to see Natalie in more productions in the future. Brennan-Coles enjoyed working with the cast and made many new memories while working alongside them.
“I am so honoured for the director to have selected me to stage manage and produce this show. The joy of seeing so many people act for the first time is magical. The actor playing Mary, this is her second production she has done ever and she carries the show as the lead. I also get to meet new people and watch them bring this lovely story to life.”
The Globe and Mail describes ‘The Memory of Water’ as “both gloriously funny and deeply felt. Indeed, the play appears at first to be pure black comedy, with the sisters indulging wildly in witty bickering and dope-induced dress-ups. Their quarrels over the funeral arrangements, their unsatisfactory men and their mixed memories of a highly feminine mother make the audience erupt with laughter”. In this production, Shelagh Stephenson skillfully brings out the joyous and painful territory of family relationships with insight and compassion.
Brennan-Coles believes it is important for a play to create an emotional impact throughout the audience.
“A play should tell a deep-rooted story and the people that are bringing it to life should be storytellers. We are fortunate to have actors and an artistic team that can actually tell an emotion-filled story successfully.”
The Memory of Water has won an Olivier award for best new comedy in 2000, has played in New York and the West End and been produced world-wide.