News: Cast announced for The Memory of Water

Hampstead Theatre is delighted to announce the cast for Shelagh Stephenson’s Olivier Award-winning play The Memory of Water. Lucy Black, Kulvinder Ghir, Adam James, Lizzy McInnerny, Carolina Main and Laura Rogers will perform in this poignant and painfully funny comedy about conflicting memories, life and loss, which received its world premiere at the theatre in 1996. Directed by Alice Hamilton, the new production will run from 3 September until 16 October 2021. Hamilton returns to Hampstead Theatre after her recent 60th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiter and the Olivier-nominated Every Day I Make Greatness Happen and Paradise.

The theatre is also delighted to announce the cast for the world premiere of Mufaro Makubika’s new play Malindadzimu. Shyko Amos, Kudzai Mangombe, Sifiso Mazibuko, Tendai Humphrey Sitima and Natasha Williams will perform in this delicate, witty and epic new play, which explores a mother and daughter’s search for belonging and their struggle with a multicultural heritage. Malindadzimu will run from 17 September until 30 October 2021 at Hampstead Downstairs, directed by Monique Touko, who will be making her professional directing debut.

Alice Hamilton, director of The Memory of Water, said:

I am so pleased to be back at Hampstead Theatre and directing The Memory of Water with this group of brilliant actors. Shelagh Stephenson’s Olivier Award-winning play is a modern classic, rich with fabulous characters and a deep vein of humour. The past year has placed family at the forefront of our minds, and I can’t wait to share this warm-hearted riot of sibling rivalry with live audiences.

Monique Touko, director of Malindadzimu, said:

I am delighted to be making my professional debut at Hampstead Theatre with Mufaro’s new play. Having the opportunity to depict Bulawayo, my mother’s birthplace, feels extremely fitting and timely in my development.

I love Mufaro’s coming of age tale, centred on a relationship between a mother and daughter, caught between Nottingham and Zimbabwe. I can’t wait to get to work on Malindadzimu with this wonderful group of actors and create a world that is rooted in history and speaks for now.

The Memory of Water makes a highly anticipated return to Hampstead Theatre twenty-five years after its World Premiere in 1996. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Comedy, Shelagh Stephenson’s poignant and painfully funny comedy is about conflicting memories, life and loss. Following West End and New York transfers, Stephenson also adapted The Memory of Water into a film, Before You Go (2002), directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Julie Walters, John Hannah, Joanne Whalley and Victoria Hamilton.

Lucy Black, Carolina Main and Laura Rogers will play sisters Teresa, Catherine and Mary, with Kulvinder Ghir, Adam James and Lizzy McInnerny completing the cast.

Lucy Black will play the role of Teresa. Recent theatre credits include The Haystack by Al Blyth (Hampstead Theatre), Girls by Caryl Churchill (National Theatre) and The York Realist by Peter Gill (Donmar Warehouse). Recent TV credits include Endeavour by Russell Lewis, The Durrells by Simon Nye (ITV) and Gentleman Jack by Sally Wainwright (BBC1).

Kulvinder Ghir will play the role of Frank. Theatre credits include Ayub Khan Din’s East Is East (Octagon Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Sir Trevor Nunn (New Wosley Theatre), Comedians by Trevor Griffiths (Lyric Hammersmith) and Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company). Screen credits include BBC sketch comedy series Goodness Gracious Me (BBC Radio 4/BBC2), the recent TV adaptation of Black Narcissus (BBC1) and Gurinder Chadha’s latest film, Blinded by the Light.

Adam James will play the role of Mike. Recent theatre credits include Girl from the North Country by Conor McPherson (The Old Vic/West End), Consent by Nina Raine (National Theatre/West End); Bull (Young Vic) and King Charles III (Almeida Theatre/West End/New York) by Mike Bartlett. TV credits include forthcoming new thriller Vigil by Tom Edge, Life and Doctor Foster by Mike Bartlett and I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel (BBC).

Lizzy McInnerny will play the role of Vi. Theatre credits include Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing and A Northern Odyssey by Shelagh Stephenson (Live Theatre) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester Festival Theatre/Duchess Theatre). Recent TV credits include The Crown by Peter Morgan (Netflix), Back to Life co-written by Laura Solon and Daisy Haggard (Season 2, BBC3) and Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders (BBC1).

Carolina Main will play the role of Catherine. Theatre credits include Valhalla by Paul Murphy (Theatre503/Sheer Drop) and King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company). TV credits include her role as DC Fran Lingley in crime drama series Unforgotten by Chris Lang (ITV).

Laura Rogers will play the role of Mary. Theatre credits include Pressure by David Haig (Chichester Festival Theatre/Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh/UK Tour/Park Theatre/West End), Rules For Living by Sam Holcroft (English Touring Company) and Winter Solstice by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Orange Tree Theatre/Actors Touring Company).

Shelagh Stephenson’s other plays include An Experiment with an Air Pump (Royal Exchange/Hampstead Theatre), Ancient Lights (Hampstead Theatre), Five Kinds of Silence (Lyric Hammersmith) and Mappa Mundi (National Theatre).

Alice Hamilton returns to Hampstead following her 60th anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter (2020) and the Olivier-nominated Every Day I Make Greatness Happen and Paradise (both Hampstead Downstairs). Other directing credits include Blood Wedding (Salisbury Playhouse) and While We’re Here (Bush Theatre).

She will be joined by designer Anna Reid; lighting designer Johanna Town; composer and sound designer Harry Blake; assistant director Aysha Kala; voice and dialect coach Stephen Kemble,
with casting by Briony Barnett CDG.

The production has been supported with a philanthropic gift from Lin and Ken Craig, long-standing supporters of Hampstead Theatre.

Shyko Amos, Kudzai Mangombe, Sifiso Mazibuko, Tendai Humphrey Sitima and Natasha Williams will perform in the world premiere of Mufaro Makubika’s delicate, witty and epic new play Malindadzimu. Set in Nottingham and Zimbabwe, Malindadzimu, explores a mother and daughter’s search for belonging, their struggle with a multicultural heritage, and a haunting history that they cannot ignore. Malindadzimu, (“Hill of the Ancestral Spirits”) is situated in the Matobo National Park in south-west Zimbabwe. It is considered to be a sacred place by locals. Controversially, Cecil John Rhodes is buried on the summit of Malindadzimu.

Shyko Amos will play the role of Faith. Theatre credits includes Generations by debbie tucker green (Soho Rep, New York), An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Soho Rep, New York), In Time by Bola Adje (Almeida Theatre) and Bob Marley the Musical by Kwame Kwei-Armah (Birmingham Rep). TV credits include, series regular Ruby Patterson in Death in Paradise, A Very English Scandal by Russell T Davies and Celebrity Master Chef 2020 (all BBC1).

Kudzai Mangombe will play the role of Hope. Kudzai graduated from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 2021. Malindadzimu will be her professional debut.

Sifiso Mazibuko will play the roles of Lobengula and Foreman. Theatre credits include A Land Without People by Brian Rotman (both Courtyard Theatre) and Wrought Atlas Theatre Ensemble (New York International Fringe Festival 2015). Musical theatre credits include Hamilton (Victoria Palace) and Motown: the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre).

Tendai Humphrey Sitima will play the roles of Spirit Medium, Doctor and Labourer. Theatre credits include the immersive production of The Great Gatsby (in which he played George Wilson and also composed and produced the original score), Out of the Frame and Frame Narrative (Project Oeuvre Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

Natasha Williams will play the role of Gogo. Theatre credits include Off the Endz by Bola Agbaje, (The Royal Court), Black Crows by Linda Brogan (Arcola Theatre) and The Fatherland by Murray Watts (Bush Theatre). Television credits include Channel 4’s It’s a Sin, EastEnders, Doctor Who and Holby City (BBC1).

Malindadzimu is Mufaro Makubika’s second play following his critically acclaimed Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse/Theatre Royal Stratford East), which won the 2017 Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play. Malindadzimu will be Makubika’s debut at Hampstead Theatre.

Monique Touko will be making her professional directing debut at Hampstead Theatre with Malindadzimu. She will be joined by designer Zoë Hurwitz; lighting designer Matt Haskins and sound designer Max Pappenheim.

The Memory of Water will remain socially distanced with reduced capacity from 3 September until 25 September. The theatre may increase capacity from 27 September but out of concern for audiences, staff and performing companies, it is exercising caution. Additional dates will go on sale closer to the time.

Malindadzimu will remain with reduced capacity and social distancing for the duration of its run.

In the event of either of the productions being postponed due to UK Government advice, full refunds or credit vouchers will be offered.

Hampstead Theatre is currently staging Tennessee Williams’ The Two Character Play which runs until 28 August. Sam Yates has directed this innovative, psychological thriller by one of the world’s great dramatists which originally premiered at the theatre in 1967. Yates has made a highly anticipated return to the theatre following his Olivier-nominated production of The Phlebotomist (2019). The World Premiere of Big Big Sky by Tom Wells is running at Hampstead Downstairs until 11 September. This beautifully tender new play explores nature’s influence on love, friendship and family and is directed by Tessa Walker, Hampstead Theatre’s new Associate Director. Both productions remain as originally sold, with reduced capacity and social distancing for the duration of their runs.

To book tickets visit https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2021/the-memory-of-water/

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