The Memory of Water (Archive)

memory-of-waterby Shelagh Stephenson

May 2004

The central theme of Shelagh Stephenson’s The Memory of Water is one of memories – the story of a family as seen and recalled through the eyes of three sisters, brought together for the funeral of their mother.

During their unexpected reunion the sisters bicker constantly over conflicting memories about the same events in their childhoods: which sister threw up over the television and which was accidentally left behind at the beach, how one met her husband, what a father knew about a family scandal.

As the stories emerge we see three very different characters – the martyr who always dealt with things and tries to organise the others into some semblance of order for the funeral; the ‘bookish’ one who has made a successful career for herself in medicine but a mess of her private life; and the youngest one – a drugged-out, self-absorbed shopaholic desperate for affection – from anyone!

And we meet the mother and have a chance to make up our own minds about how the daughters turned out to be so dissimilar and yet so alike.

Add to this mix the lover of one sister and the husband of another and you have a play rich in insight and characters: at times hilarious and at times poignant, but one which is likely to remain in the audience’s memory for some time.


Mary Hazel Blenkinsop
Vi Chris Ward
Teresa Teresa Coles McGee
Catherine Victoria Perris
Mike Dan Hawkins
Frank Mike Calvert


Co-Producers Chris Squire & Barry West
Stage Manager Joseph Hughes
Set Design Christopher Sutton
Set Construction Backstage team
Lighting Ian Squire
Sound Christine Pearson
Props Jim Melville
Prompt Hazel Galvin
Poster/programme cover design Teresa Coles McGee
Ticket Sales Chris Squire/Barry West
Publicity Joseph Hughes