Melting Pot staged Shelagh Stephenson's The Memory of Water at Worcester Arts Workshop in 2009
Melting Pot staging usually tends towards the minimal or stylised but The Memory of Water was staged on a fully realised set dressed to evoke a 1940s/1950s bedroom in a dilapidated house near the sea. The house is crumbling and a crack in the bedroom wall is clearly visible.

Thanks to an immense effort by cast and crew the set was built and the Downstairs theatre fitted out over a day and a half at the beginning of the production week.

The play combines elements of farce and snappy one-liners with wry observation and deeply felt tragedy. Overall the themes of shifting family dynamics and the differences between one person's memory of the past and another's are movingly expressed.

Three sisters gather for the funeral of their mother, Vi. Middle sister Mary has arrived late at night and is dozing on the only available bed, which happens to be her mother's, when she is awoken... apparently by an apparition of her mother. Julie Nunn as Vi and Amanda Bonnick as Mary

The next morning, relics of the past start to be uncovered - in this case a 1950s breast pump! Sue Imms plays Mary's sister Teresa

More members of the family begin to arrive - younger sister Catherine (Rachel le Sauvage), inappropriately cheerful but subject to mood-swings...

...and Mike, a celebrity doctor and Mary's lover (played by Philip Leach) who because the house is now snowed up has to come in through a window...

Mike encounters Catherine...

...and sisterly rivalries begin to show

The cracks in the relationship between Mary and Mike are exposed when an unexpected and tragic secret is revealed (Amanda Bonnick, Philip Leach)

Memories and ghosts are laid to rest as Vi appears for a final time (Julie Nunn, Amanda Bonnick)

The three sisters begin to come to terms with their loss and their past (Rachel le Sauvage, Sue Imms, Amanda Bonnick)

The final scene as the weather and the light gets colder is one of moving on rather than reconciliation (Amanda Bonnick, Philip Leach)

All photos (c) copyright Matthew Brockington & Melting Pot Theatre Company