Ruth Leon recommends…The Memory of Water – Hampstead TheatreRuth Leon recommends
The Memory of Water – Hampstead Theatre
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20 September – 16 October
I have started, very tentatively, going to the theatre again. In many ways it is thrilling to be part of a live audience again. To experience a performance as it is happening, to know that what you are watching is unique, unrepeatable, will never happen again in exactly the same way, is yours alone but shared with those who are in the same theatre, at the same time, is exciting beyond words. We’ve had a horrible time, this past 17 months, and our confidence in our ability to share space with others has been rocked. But we still need the company of others in the audience for the full appreciation of the theatre.
Some of the West End theatres, delighted to have reopened, have thrown caution to the winds and already have crowded lobbies and bars, no masks and no requirement to prove vaccination. I have been finding these uncomfortable and I’m shocked to find myself uncomfortable in a theatre, my natural habitat. Others, such as Hampstead Theatre, have got it exactly right. Not only did I enjoy their new production of Shelagh Stephenson’s wonderful play The Memory of Water this week, I felt completely at home in their distanced seating and sense of care for the customers. I hope they continue like this and that others will follow their lead.
And do see the play. Excellent actors and great insights.