Plenty of Laughs at the Funeral
Hull Daily Mail Monday 12th November 2012
emotions running high: From left, Brian Shaw, Sharon Burton, Hannah Roberts, Joanna Capes and Tim Brown. Photo Andrew Barrett, stars of Memory Of Water.
A funeral does not sound like the perfect setting for hilarity. But Hull Playgoers' Society's latest production, The Memory Of Water, revels in some pitch-black humour.
The comedy, written by acclaimed playwright Shelagh Stephenson, is set in the East Yorkshire home of the late Vi.
It is here that her three daughters and their partners have gathered for the funeral – lighting the fuse on some long-harboured grudges.
"It is about how they discover things about themselves," said Joy Ward, who is co-directing the production with Pam Quick.
"It becomes a time for reflection and recrimination – it is very funny and revealing about people's characters.
"A lot of chickens come home to roost."
The Playgoers decided to stage the drama after it was presented to the group as part of its regular play-reading sessions.
"Everybody was so enthusiastic about it," said Joy. "We have never laughed so much."
"It is a black comedy," said Pam.
"You would not think a funeral was an opportunity for a good belly laugh – but it proves to be."
The Olivier Award-winning play premiered at Hampstead Theatre in 1996 and, in 2002, was adapted for the big screen in the Lewis Gilbert-directed production Before You Go.
Set to be staged at Hull Truck Theatre this month, the six cast members are busy honing the confrontational patter required.
"The sisters love to hate each other, they bicker and argue," said Pam.
"They have their ups and downs, but that is family life."
A Macmillan Cancer Support Charity Night take place on Saturday, November 24. Tickets cost £15, which includes pre-show refreshments in the Albemarle Music Centre at 6.30pm, entry to the performance and a free programme.
For details, call Joy Ward on 01482 657157.