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of Water

By Shelagh Stephenson


Directed by Chrisjohn Hancock

 Winner of the Lawrence Olivier Award for best new comedy


 March 2006


Shelagh Stephenson - Playwright

Shelagh Stephenson was born in Northumberland and read drama at Manchester University. She is the author of several original radio plays written for BBC Radio, including Darling Peidi, The Anatomical Venus and Five Kinds of Silence (1997), which won the Writer's Guild Award (Best Original Radio Play). The Memory of Water (1996) was her first stage play and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy. Her second stage play, An Experiment With An Air Pump (1998), was joint winner of the 1997 Peggy Ramsay Award, and premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 1998. Ancient Lights (2000) was produced at Hampstead Theatre in 2000, and in 2002, Mappa Mundi (2002) opened at the Royal National Theatre. Her latest play, Enlightenment, opened at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 2005. A collection of her plays, Plays One, was published in 2002.


Chrisjohn Hancock – Director

Chrisjohn has been Artistic Director of the Lieder Theatre Company since 1992. He has directed over sixty productions during that time including Inheritance, Treasure Island, Away, Peter Pan, Steel Magnolias, Money and Friends, Dinkum Assorted, Hotel Sorrento, Wind in the Willows, Lord of the Flies, Dancing at Lughnasa, Cosi, Alice in Wonderland, Under Milk Wood, Blackrock, Grimm Tales, Antigone, Gathering the Dust, Summer of the 17th Doll, Oliver Twist, The Removalists, La Dispute, The Lesson, Skirmishes, Indians, Love Letters, Waiting for Godot, The Man Who and Fireface. He studied acting at NIDA and has worked in professional theatre throughout Australia and in Scotland. For the Lieder Youth Theatre Company he has directed, tufff..., The Happy Prince, Rolly's Grave, Hot Chips and Gravy at the Blackhole Cafe, G’Day Mate, Hot Air, The Vision of Delight, 2 Friendly for 4 Words, Dead One Done and Ubu. Earlier productions include Old King Cole, The Eagle Has Two Heads and Jack and the Beanstalk for the Lieder, Caroline, written by Paul Paviour for the Argyle Society, Hey You, Waterhole and Peace in the Street for the Mustardseed Project, Under the Mask and The Little Prince for Coco Youth Theatre, WA, Nuclear Split for the NT Theatre in Education Team and Zigger Zagger and The Fantasticks for Territory North Theatre Company, NT.


Claims do not come much more controversial than the idea that water might retain a memory of substances once dissolved in it. The notion is central to homeopathy, which treats patients with samples so dilute they are unlikely to contain a single molecule of the active compound, but it is generally ridiculed by scientists.


The Memory of Water was made into a film in 2002 called Before You Go and starring Julie Walters




Judith Boyd



Elizabeth Brown



Fiona Churchill



Melissa Chandler



Greg Seckold



David Rayner

The action of the play takes place in the bedroom of Vi.Time – the present.

Production team




Chrisjohn Hancock

Assistant Director


Pauline J Mullen




Stage Manager


Kathy Campbell

Set design


Chrisjohn Hancock

Set construction


John Knops

Scene painting


Judith Boyd



Jane Wilson



Julie Sarah



Trent Hennessy



Jen Nell



Stephen White



Jo Dorman, Sarah Harris



Doreen Mullen

Front of House Manager


Colin Simson

Newsletter editor


Brian Hill


The Cast


Judith Boyd - Vi

Judith joined the Lieder Theatre in September 2001 having moved to the area from Sydney where she has been an active member of the Castle Hill Players for almost twenty-five years and ran the Castle Hill Youth Theatre for much of that time. She was also a drama teacher at The Hills Grammar School and has adjudicated at several country drama festivals in NSW. She attended a part time Drama School in England before moving with her family to Australia in 1978. Judith has been involved in over one hundred plays in one way or another. In more recent years she has directed plays including The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, Twelve Angry Men, Nuts, Agnes of God, Oh What a Lovely War, Toad of Toad Hall, Educating Rita, and has acted in The Homecoming, Blithe Spirit, Bold Girls, Equus, and Don’s Party. Judith attended the writing course at NIDA in 1992, and subsequently had plays performed at NIDA and at the National Playwrights Conference in Canberra. Judith is an active member of the Lieder having directed Once A Catholic, Sylvia, Hating Alison Ashley, Urbs Urbis and The Odd Couple (female version). She has run workshops and written for the Lieder Youth Theatre’s 2 Friendly 4 Words and Dead One Done, performed in The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Blithe Spirit, provided administrative support and promotion for productions and operated lights for Pinocchio. She currently runs weekly after school drama classes with the Youth Theatre Company.


Elizabeth Brown - Mary

Elizabeth is the Regional Arts Development Officer for the Southern Tablelands Region and has generously organised her time to take part in our production of The Memory of Water. She moved to Goulburn from Queensland just over 12 months ago and this is her first appearance on the Lieder stage. Regretfully for us it may also be her last, as “my job does not provide me with enough time to engage in any of my own interests with regularity. I love theatre and studied Theatre Production at University as my electives gaining HD's in every subject and even though I had the Facility Dean telling me that theatre should be my life, once I left Uni I left the stage to take up a career supporting everyone else's arts career.”


Melissa Chandler - Catherine

Melissa joined the Lieder in 2002 to perform in our Christmas pantomime Pinocchio and since then has been involved in nearly every Lieder production since. She performed in the rehearsed reading of The Man Who and in our community peace festival at St Saviour’s Cathedral Forks’ n All (a feast for peace) She has performed in Stan Henderson’s marvellous Christmas production of Old Time Music Hall, Away, Hating Alison Ashley, stage managed Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and operated lights for Dead One Dome and Minefields and Miniskirts before taking time out to become married in 2004.  She operated the sound for the Youth Theatre’s Acrobatic Fire Show for the Blues Festival in February 2005 and returned to the Lieder stage as Mrs Melissa Chandler in Judith Boyd’s hilarious Christmas comedy The Odd Couple (female version) last November.


Fiona Churchill - Teresa

Fiona joined the Lieder in 1995 to play in Golden Valley and since then has been seen in many productions including the Farndale Murder Mystery, Oliver, Hamlet, Blackrock, Under Milk Wood, Cosi, The Removalists and On the Bridge. In 2002 she performed in Habeas Corpus and in 2003 in Judith Boyd’s canine comedy Sylvia, and a rehearsed reading of The Vagina Monologues. In 2004 Fiona performed in Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and the rehearsed reading Minefields and Miniskirts. Last year she performed in Hannie Rayson’s Inheritance, Blithe Spirit and The Odd Couple (female version) as well as our foyer production of Fireface. When not in a show Fiona has worked backstage as a lighting operator and is currently on the Lieder Board of Management coordinating charity nights for the mainstage.


Greg Seckold - Mike

Greg started performing in his early years as a magician with appearances in shopping malls and on children’s TV shows. A stint in the Carlingford Entertainers in the late 70s and 80s saw Greg playing romantic leads, narrators and villains (his favourite). Currently calling himself a domestic engineer while he builds his own house Greg was at one time an avid go-cart racer and IT expert. His first adventure onto the Lieder stage was as a romantic Spaniard in The Odd Couple (female version) last year. Now that he has the Lieder bug he’s back again in yet another romantic role. How luck can he get.


David Rayner - Frank

David made his debut on stage at the age of nine in the Rockhampton Little Theatre’s Wizard of Oz. He subsequently appeared on the small screen (briefly) with the crew from Aunty Jack in the ABC’s Flash Nick from Jindavick. David has been an active member of the Argyle Society and appeared in their productions of Godspell and La Belle Helene. With the Argyle Society he co-wrote and directed Who Murdered Lenny the Louse, which was so successful it had a return season. For the Lieder David has performed in our 2003 Christmas production of Old Time Music Hall directed by Stan Henderson, Away and our peace celebration at St Saviour’s Cathedral Forks’n All (a feast for peace)