Memory of Water Closes at Vaudeville, 22 MayDate: 29 April 1999
The Memory of Water, Shelagh Stephenson's bittersweet comedy now playing at the Vaudeville Theatre, will close 22 May 1999 at the end of its current booking period. The play which opened 11 January (previews from 7 January) with a triumvirate of female stars - Alison Steadman, Samantha Bond and Julia Sawalha - announced a six-week extension in February after positive reviews. It will close following a 19-week run.
The Memory of Water, a comic examination of family life, follows three sisters as they return home for their mother's funeral. Their past is a world of disputed bicycles, injured cats, Mum's cocktail dresses and perfumed advice - a seaside childhood punctuated by the odd monosyllable from Dad. As they deal with their grief, old scars and rivalries surface and buried family secrets are unearthed.
Bond, who played middle sister 'Mary', left the production in March in order to revive her role, with Dame Judi Dench, for the Broadway transfer of David Hare's Amy's View. Bond was replaced at the Vaudeville by Stella Gonet.
Premiered at the north London Hampstead Theatre in 1996, The Memory of Water is Stephenson's first play. Before arriving in the West End, it had an extended UK tour and also enjoyed runs in Chicago, New York, Munich and Toronto. Stephenson's second play, An Experiment with an Air-Pump, was produced by Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre in February 1998 and was joint recipient of the 1998 Peggy Ramsay Award for New Writing.