Where Water Once Was - The Blue Room Theatre

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Posted 2023-06-18 by Marisa Quinn-Haisufollow

Tue 13 Jun 2023 - Sat 01 Jul 2023

19-year-old playwright Evan Rickman makes a stunning debut with an emotional play centred around a family struggling to care for their aging matriarch after she falls ill with dementia. Where Water Once Was premiered at the Blue Room Theatre on Tuesday, 13 June 2023. It was written and directed by Evan Rickman and stars Chandra Wyatt, Zane Alexander, Madelaine Paige, Kingsley Judd and Amber Kitney.

Where Water Once Was%% stars Zane Alexander as Dylan, Madelaine Page as Steph, Kingsley Judd as Alfred, Chandra Wyatt as Margaret, and Amber Kitney as Lily. Photo credit Andrea Lim" margin="5" link="http://www.weekendnotes.com/im/001/06/where-water-once-was-blue-room-theatre-review11.jpg" width="662" thumb="http://www.weekendnotes.com/im/001/06/where-water-once-was-blue-room-theatre-review12.jpg" title="Where Water Once Was Blue Room Theatre Review" border="1" align="CENTER"]

The play focuses on two siblings Dylan (Zane Alexander) and Steph (Madelaine Paige) who have been left to care for their childhood house which has been left to rot and their mother Margaret (Chandra Wyatt) who lives in a care home with dementia. Steph feels frustrated that no one visits her mother or seems to care that her dementia is getting worse. Her girlfriend Lily (Amber Kitney) feels neglected by her, but Steph is so wrapped up in caring for her mother she barely notices. Her brother Dylan is convinced that there is a stream flowing under the floorboards of his mother's house but he can't prove it to anyone else. The stress of caring for their mother is rotting the house, their relationships, and the people in their lives. Where Water Once Was is a wonderfully written and directed drama about middle-class Australians, family dynamics, relationships, memories and growing older that will leave audiences sobbing.

It's hard to believe that a 19-year-old playwright wrote and directing Where Water Once Was. This was a superb play. It had one of the best casts that I've seen in years and some of the best writing and directing that I've ever seen at the Blue Room Theatre. Evan Rickman has done a stunning job writing and directing Where Water Once Was. He has stated that the show is not autobiographical, his interest in the subject stemmed from spending time with his grandmothers, both of whom have dementia. I was really impressed with the dialogue and themes in the show. The scenes featuring Margaret were some of the best in the show. I thought that her dialogue was a realistic example of how someone with dementia can act. In some scenes, she was argumentative, confused, and agitated. She hated being in the care home and constantly struggled to remember that she had a daughter and kept confusing her with her sister. In other scenes, she was happier, because she couldn't access recent memories of herself so she believed herself to be much younger than she actually was. Chandra Wyatt did such a great job bringing Margaret to life on the stage.

I really liked Zane Alexander's performance as Dylan. The stress of his mother's worsening condition and being left to care for her house weighs heavily on him. He hates seeing his childhood house in disrepair so he busies himself with taking care of it instead of visiting his Mum. He knows that she doesn't remember him anymore so he keeps his distance from her for his own emotional wellbeing. He feels like the mother he used to know is long gone and that has taken a psychological and emotional toll on him. I was intrigued when he started obsessing about the sound of water flowing under the floorboards of the house. It felt to me that the theme of water was used as an analogy for Margaret's dementia. Will the disease that rotted her relationships, her house, and her memories return one day to impact her children's lives? When will the rot start to set in? Or has it already started?

Where Water Once Was is currently showing at the Blue Room Theatre until Saturday, 1 July 2023. The show runs for 70 minutes and is suitable for people 13-years-old and older. Ticket prices are $32.00 for full price and $27.00 for concession. To book tickets for this show please visit https://blueroom.org.au

  • Marisa Quinn-Haisu was invited as a guest

  • #art
    #theatre -reviews
    !date 13/06/2023 -- 01/07/2023
    221156 - 2023-06-30 10:37:23


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