Stephenson’s talent for witty dialogue and dynamic sense of theatre are manifest in this story of three sisters who reluctantly return home in the highly charged atmosphere on the eve of their mother’s funeral.
The three each have different memories of the same events, causing constant bickering about whose memories are true. Emotions run high and family secrets are revealed as the sensible Theresa, the cynical Mary, and the hysterical self-obsessed Catherine bring past conflicts into present events with hilarious results. As partners arrive on the scene, the secrets of the women’s new lives surface.
When the play opened at the Hampstead Theatre, London, in 1996 it was awarded the Olivier Award for The Best Comedy. But it is melancholic too, as the emotional bruises of the sisters’ childhood emerge. Memories fade, blur, and persist as the sisters argue, watched over by Vi, the ghost of the mother to whom they are preparing to say goodbye.
A provocative and hilarious evening is promised.
Pamela Jenkins and Barbara Balbo