‘The Memory of Water’ – Chapel Off Chapel Till Sunday 26th November

‘The Memory of Water’ now playing in Melbourne

 Play Review

by Connie Lambeth


The tussles, drama and follies of life are brilliantly woven into the plot of ‘The Memory of Water’ by Shelagh Stephenson, playing till 26th November at Prahran’s Chapel off Chapel theatre.

This pacy, award-winning UK play centres around three sisters preparing for the funeral of their mother Vi. Within the tight confines of Vi’s bedroom, the escalating conflict of the estranged siblings plays out in this well-scripted family ‘drama’ laced with comedy and metaphors. The single room stage setting ensures audience attention is focused on the characters within. Thrust together at the death of their mother, old grievances give way to protracted disagreements and emotional outbursts, in a seemingly persistent verbal contest. With ‘memory’ as the play’s key theme, childhood recollections bubble to the surface, revealing each sister as having her own take on events, adding to the fray.

The sisters are vastly different as siblings often are. Mary is the ‘middle child’, a doctor…the clever, self righteous and overbearing one. Her frailties are revealed when we learn of her affair with Mike, a married man unwilling to leave his ill wife, her teen pregnancy kept secret all this time, and the desire to have her own child now she’s thirty nine. An interesting twist is the conversational presence of her deceased mother as an apparition. It seems no matter how hard Mary denies she has some of her mother’s traits, they are ever present, in a gesture, an expression, a word. Vi’s memory lives on.

The martyr attitude of eldest sister Theresa is destined to annoy sisters and audience alike. Her natural therapy business is an important element, with homeopathy pushing memory to the fore once again, as no matter how diluted with water, the healing powers remain, much like the essence of the mother who lives on in her daughters. Theresa’s weaknesses too are fleshed out, as tensions rise and she hits the whisky bottle as a non-drinker, much to her husband Frank’s angst.

Meanwhile Catherine the youngest, provides comic relief with her attention-seeking personality needy of love wherever she can find it. 78 lovers and still counting it seems, as she smothers her woes with alcohol and joints, grieving more about her Spanish boyfriend dumping her than the loss of her mother! When conflict between the elder two sisters intensifies, there is an almost collective sigh of relief when Catherine stumbles in with quirky quips, an oversharing personality, and later, inappropriate funereal clothes, perhaps designed to relax the tension on stage and in the audience. It worked.

The support roles of Mike as Mary’s lover, and Frank, Theresa’s tolerant spouse, add a steadying influence amid the disputes of the women. The men also manage to successfully bring the outdoors inside, with clothing, hand rubs, and references to freezing conditions. Perhaps playwright Stephenson crafted this concept as another metaphor to reflect the icy weather on the outer, and  frosty relations on the inner, or maybe to tell us the setting is winter in the north of England. Either way, the cold was a prominent feature and the audience felt it, helped along with the aircon!

The cast put up an impressively strong performance, demonstrating the tapestry of emotions on display when ordinary people are faced with a situation beyond their everyday realm. Meanwhile the cello added an ethereal quality, contributing to the mood and pathos of the story.

Producer Darren Mort has the last word when he says:

“Please enjoy our production of ‘The Memory of Water’ – you will laugh and cry all at once, but most of all, you will understand the importance of relationships and the art of forgiveness”.

**The Memory of Water is playing at Chapel off Chapel in Prahran until next Sunday 26th November

Genre: Comedy/Highly Recommend


**3 Big Men Productions in association with The Rehearsal Room

Images supplied courtesy of HRPR/**Connie was a guest of Helen Reizer hrpr

**Connie wishes to acknowledge E. Clarke for our ‘post play literary discussion’ inspiring further thought-provoking concepts for the article


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

E: connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

W: editorcsl.com

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/

Read on for Information on Actors/Producer/Director/Cellist plus more fabulous pics…

From L-R Frank (Producer Darren Mort), Cellist Grace, Richard Sarell (Director), Vi, Catherine, Theresa, Mary, Mike
From L-R
Frank (Producer – Darren Mort), Richard Sarell (Director – kneeling), Cellist Grace Gilkerson, Vi, Catherine, Theresa, Mary, Mike


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Review by Roswitha Schleicher – Sydney Events writer for The Australia Times News

Producer Lauren Eisinger and samba sensation Amy Mills take their audience on an emotional journey as they invite them behind the scenes of the glamorous world of samba, in their bold new show Feathered and Fierce.

Stage One at the HPG Festival Hub lays bare, with black curtains usually shielding curious eyes, drawn, blending with the infinite darkness of this vast space, in contrast with the blaze of stage lights.

As the eight performers enter the stage in what appears to be Amazonian inspired ensembles, anticipation rises and the crowd falls silent. Just a few beats into animated samba tunes and the Amy Mills Samba Pro Team bust out a few of their signature dance moves, raising cheers from the audience. And thus, our hour long journey through the dazzling world of samba begins.

Thoughtfully choreographed by World Solo Samba Champion Amy Mills, Feathered & Fierce reveals a story of passion and dedication through the world of Latin dance. With multiple on-stage costume changes and numerous moving performances accompanied by a contemporary playlist, Amy and her team lead their audience on a journey, unveiling the various aspects and emotional ups and downs of preparing for the big samba stage.

This unique show is every bit as personal and mesmerising as producer Lauren Eisinger intended, and has proven to be one of the ‘must-see’ performances of this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival.


Get your tickets now.

What: Feathered and Fierce, theatrical dance show at Sydney Fringe Festival 2017

Where: HPG Festival Hub Stage One, 225 Euston Rd, Alexandria, Sydney

When: 7:30pm, 5 – 9 September 2017

Tickets: Adult $25, Concession or Under 12 $22, Group 6+ $22. 

All tickets available from www.sydneyfringe.com


Check out our 2 previous articles – Feathered and Fierce –

Interview with producer Lauren Eisinger:


Information – Feathered and Fierce & Dancers Biographies:



Additional Information Courtesy of ‘Feathered and Fierce’/Fuller PR

Images Courtesy of ‘Feathered and Fierce’/Fuller PR/Roswitha Schleicher

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News –  GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

E: literallyconnie@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram @tatgourmetmag

Additional pics…

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As You Like It (Canberra)

By Revelly Robinson

Zahra Newman cements her status as one of the country’s most entertaining stage actors.

Peter Evans’ interpretation of As You Like It is a light hearted romp into the magical forest of Arden. The actors give spirited performances in this fun Shakespeare play, but nonetheless there is something lacking in the cohesiveness of the piece. The characters drift dissonantly from scene to scene with little integration of their roles with each other. This incongruity mirrors the disparate narrative which almost seems to comprise of individual skits broken up by comedic and musical interludes.

One of Shakespeare’s iconic comedies, As You Like It contains the infallibly humorous elements of assumed identities and hapless romantics that make the bard’s plays so accessible. When the filial Rosalind is banished by her uncle, Duke Frederick, she assumes the identity of a man, Ganymede, to seek out her father in the forest of Arden. Accompanied by her cousin, Celia, posing as Ganymede’s sister Aliena, the protagonist uses her newfound identity to taunt and play havoc with the characters she meets along the way. Despite falling desperately in love with Orlando before leaving the court, upon encountering the melancholy Orlando in the forest, Rosalind under the guise of Ganymede takes the opportunity to taunt him into revealing the depth of his feelings for her.

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Between Us (Sydney – Australian Theatre For Young People)

Review by Shannyn Warren

The audience is thrust into a dark room looking at a television, spun around via flashes of light and beckoned into rooms deeper inside a labyrinth of secrets as dark as the rooms at the wharf theatre – and just between us – it’s wonderfully exciting.

The production sees eleven monologues created by a group of talented folk under 25 and performed by some promising adolescents. It’s about coming of age, leaving the innocence of childhood behind, and mostly – how secrets, above all else, are what seem to make us grow up.

One of the most poignant aspects of the play is perhaps the setting, designed by Melanie Liertz. The audience is consistently moved around an obscure curtained space via subtle stage manoeuvres or hints from the actors. Liertz’ set works remarkably well in making us feel uncomfortably involved in the messiness of other peoples business. The way the audience is positioned with the actors means that we are painstakingly present, and even sometimes in the way. It acts as a constant reminder that secrets are ever present and in our faces – even if they are the secrets of others – and are not something we can escape or move away from.

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Tatterdemalion (FRINGEWORLD 2015)

FRINGEWORLD’s Deluxe venue provided the ideal location for Tatterdemalion, a charmingly disheveled mélange of mime, magic, puppetry and spooky theatrical departures. Sole performer, Henry Maynard of Flabbergast Theatre, emerged as a bleary eyed, Rip Van Winkle-esque figure, and charmingly clowned about while making use of the intimate space which placed most audience members within reach of his playful grasp.

10,000 (FRINGEWORLD 2015)

Review by Charlotte Guest

Edie and AJ are a young couple getting it all wrong: marriage, parenthood, life. On the brink of separation, the couple decides to dedicate a weekend to ‘restarting’ their relationship. The two begin a video game – AJ gleefully and Edie begrudgingly – in order to rekindle the fun that has been lost from their partnership. But when an electrical storm transports the couple from their hotel room into the pixelated Persian Empire and into the bodies of their computer-generated counterparts, Edie and AJ must fight for an empire as well as their relationship.

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Sex Idiot (FRINGEWORLD 2015)

According to the pamphlet: “Bryony Kimmings is a Sex Idiot. Following her very first STI test, Bryony discovered she had a common sexual disease. Not one for looking back, she was faced with the arduous task of retracing her sexual footsteps to see where she had contracted her little problem.”