After 18 very difficult months, one of the local cornerstones of the creative community is slowly coming back to life with a series of theatrical productions.
The South London Theater is located in the much loved and iconic West Norwood Fire Station, built in 1881. “We rely on tickets, bar sales and subscriptions, but it was all wiped out when we came into custody.” , said theater director Charlotte Benstead.
“Some cultural stimulus funds allowed us to pay for utilities – even though we could put the staff on leave, the fixed costs didn’t go away – that was crucial.” She talks about the money the theater received from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“A Grade II listed building like this is like the Forth Road Bridge, it needs to be fixed all the time.”
Thanks to the lockdown, the SLT branched out into introducing adult online learning, including a creative writing course, and brought out the theater with a walking show at West Norwood Cemetery.
âBut now we really have to reach out and get the support of those bums in the seats that theatergoers are famous for,â laughs Benstead. “We have a great season in the pipeline and the next show is a dark, hilarious comedy-drama with a wonderful cast.”
The production she describes is “The Memory of Water” by Shelagh Stephenson, which won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2000 and was later adapted into a film starring Julie Walters and John Hannah.
The story centers on three sisters who reunite before their mother’s funeral with their partners. Each of them is haunted by their own demons and their conflicted relationships with each other and with their late mother Vi.
The three bicker about different memories of the same events and criticize their parents – especially their mother’s lack of sex education which caused Mary, the girl in the middle, to get pregnant at age fourteen.
What Marie does not reveal is that their mother appears to her in a series of conversations where she complains about their legitimate behavior and attitude towards her – especially their sexual behavior, at one point bitterly accusing Marie of being self-righteous. to offer the world on a plate. : âWithout looking back. Lovers, sex. Exotic sex probably. Whatever it is “.
‘The Memory of Water’ is full of huge laughs, a touching story interspersed with serious themes such as Alzheimer’s disease, grief and infidelity.
The SLT is always on the lookout for new members who want to get involved – whether as an actor, director, decorator, writer or just looking for a good night out.
La MÃ©moire de l’Eau takes place from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 August at 8 p.m.
Director: Charlotte Benstead and Hayley Thomas.
Marysia Skwarka as Mary
Sari Easton as Catherine
Ingrid Miller as Teresa
Phil Ross as Frank
James Mercer as Mike
Caroline Durant as Vi
For tickets: Tickets
For more information on the South London Theater: South London Theater