Review, The Memory of Water, Hampstead Theatre, By Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

In true Hampstead Theatre style, the staging is impeccable and welcomes you as soon as you come in. All based in one bedroom, the room is traditional and like ones I remember my Grandmother having when I was a child. Above the staging is ever changing cloudy sky, that throughout the production, seems to reflect the mood in colour and atmosphere.

This set is only the beginning of this well thought out play. The Memory of Water is a story of grief, relationships and secrets. Of the passing of a Mother and the memories associated with her and their childhood. As things unravel, we see new sides of each character and the impact that both memories and relationships have on how we live our lives and think of our past.

The set of the bedroom not only makes this feel intimate, but adds to the sense of a broken fourth wall. The interactions between all the characters are perfection; they bounce off one another, are quick witted and natural. We certainly feel like we are going through the moments of grief between family members, and their estranged relationships, while their memories bring them back together. It is easy to feel relatable to and anyone who has lost someone can certainly feel their life reflected.

The performers move effortlessly around the stage, feeling at home, comfortable and all the while very naturalistic. Even when we see interactions with the deceased, this is meant to be hyper-realistic but there is a fine line between feeling whether this is real or not.

The Memory of Water is a very relatable depiction of family ties, of the importance of memories in how they shape yourself, your life and how you view others. It is also a very enjoyable production, feeling like an easy and immersed narrative.

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