The Memory of Water
Writer: Shelagh Stephenson
Director: Adele Thomas
NOTTINGHAM Playhouse has announced the full cast list for hilarious and heart-breaking drama, The Memory of Water.
The Olivier award-winning comedy, written by Shelagh Stephenson, follows three estranged sisters who return to their childhood home of the eve of their mother’s funeral. Having grown apart over the years, the sisters argue and joke as they sort through their mother’s belongings and as soon as the sisters begin to discover that they all remember things differently, a series of dramatic and devastating revelations begin to unfold.
Best known for her roles in Cuckoo, EastEnders, Silent Witness and Casualty, Juliet Cowan will take to the stage as Teresa – the eldest of the three sisters.
Teresa runs a health food store with her husband Frank, who will be played by Doc Martin and Love and Marriage star Stewart Wright.
The mother of the three sisters Vi will be played by award-winning actress Katy Stephens, who has appeared in leading roles with Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although Vi’s death brings the siblings together, they soon realise that they all have different memories of the same events.
Teresa feels responsible for keeping the family together and takes on the protective role over her younger siblings, Mary and Catherine. Mary, played by Beth Cordingly – known for her role as PC Kerry Young in The Bill and returning to Nottingham Playhouse after performing in Our Man in Havana – is the middle child and a doctor, who is having an affair with Mike (EastEnders actor Nicholas Bailey).
Jasmine Jones will be taking the role of the Catherine, the rebellious, youngest and the only single sister.
Directed by highly acclaimed director Adele Thomas, whose work has appeared at National Theatre, Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe, the play is about family, grief and the unreliability of the memory.
Adele said: “The women in The Memory of Water are an amazing trio of messy and funny characters, simultaneously both unlikeable and likeable. The play is about what happens when three sisters come back home on the event of their mother’s death and, as is often the case with family relationships, that coming together is complicated, but also profoundly human.
“It is a really beautiful play, the cast are absolutely extraordinary and I’m hugely looking forward to coming to Nottingham to make it.”
Adam Penford, artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Ever since it first premiered in the 1990s, The Memory of Water has frequently been produced by theatres around the world as it always proves so popular with audiences.
“Shelagh Stephenson has written a story that is not only funny and moving, with some gripping plot twists, but also universal. There’s something familiar in the world she has created that connects with everyone: whether that’s accepting the loss of a parent; sibling rivalry; or dealing with the reality of life not turning out the way you planned.
“The fantastic writing has always attracted talented actors with a gift for comedy since Alison Steadman performed in the West End production and Julie Walters in the movie adaptation. Our new production is no exception, with a host of top actors from stage and screen.”
Audiences can expect tears and laughter in the tragic comedy about what we fear most – losing someone both in life and death.
The Memory of Water runs from Friday 3 May through to Saturday 18 May.
Tickets are priced £37.50 – £8.50.
For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
Full cast biographies:
Juliet Cowan – Theatre credits include: The Play About My Dad (Jermyn Street Theatre). TV credits include: Cuckoo; Pulling; Pramface (BBC); PhoneShop; Misfits (Channel 4)
Stewart Wright: Theatre at the National Theatre, Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, Rose Theatre Kingston, Exeter Northcott and upto8 productions with Bristol Old Vic. TV credits include: Doc Martin; Love and Marriage (ITV); Dr Who; The Vicar of Dibley; People Like Us; I Want My Wife Back (BBC).
Katy Stephens – Anthony & Cleopatra (National Theatre); A View from a Bridge & Macbeth (Tobacco Factory); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Orange Tree Theatre).
Beth Cordingly – Theatre credits include: Romeo & Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Theatre); Sideways (St James Theatre); Mobile 4 (Orange Tree Theatre); A Round-Heeled Woman (Riverside Studios/West End); Our Man in Havana (Nottingham Playhouse). TV credits include: EastEnders; Casualty; Merlin (BBC); Suspects (Channel 5); Man Down (Avalon Television); How TV Ruined Your Life (Zeppotron/BBC); The Bill (ITV)
Nicholas Bailey: Theatre credits include: Dreamgirls (West End); Jackie The Musical (UK tour); The Invisible (BushTheatre); Macbeth (Mercury Theatre, Colchester). TV credits include: EastEnders; Doctors; Casualty; Holby City; Miranda (BBC); Strangers; Law & Order: UK (ITV)
Jasmine Jones – Theatre credits include: Hogarth’s Progress (Kingston Rose Theatre); Buggy Baby (The Yard); Dangerous Space (Barbara Houseman). TV credits include: Doctors (BBC); Turn Up Charlie (Netflix); Call the Midwife (Neal Street Productions)
Box Office Information:
Box office 0115 941 9419
Matiness: Thursday 9 May 1.30pm, Saturday 18 May 2.30pm