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“Gift of a role” for Juliet in Nottingham’s Memory of Water

Published: 26 April 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Juliet Cowan, who is known mainly for television roles rather than theatre, is to take centre-stage in Nottingham Playhouse’s production of The Memory of Water—and is excited about the role.

She plays Teresa, the middle sister, in Shelagh Stephenson’s comedy-drama and reveals that she is worried about leaving her three children, which is why her work has been seen mainly on the small screen.

She has appeared in EastEnders, Silent Witness, Casualty, Cuckoo and Skins. She admits, “I do mostly TV, mainly because I’ve never really been in a position to leave my children for long periods of time. But when I have done theatre, I love the freedom that the structure of the same words affords you each night as you come to it.”

The Memory of Water is about three sisters looking back after their mother has died. Their memories are all different.

Cowan said she is looking forward to “getting stuck into a role which is almost the opposite of most that I’ve played. Weirdly, not only am I one of three sisters but my mother died a year ago and had dementia, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. The role came to me sort of washed up on my shore unexpectedly, like a gift.”

She added, “it’s such a good play, so funny and so sad and full of life. The company is amazing, Adele (director Adele Thomas) is mesmerizing and the theatre is such an exciting one.”

Katy Stephens, who has taken leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe, plays the sisters’ mother Vi. Beth Cordingly, who has just finished a tour with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Romeo and Juliet, is Mary, while Jasmine Jones takes the role of youngest sister Catherine. The cast is completed by Stewart Wright (Frank) and Nicholas Bailey (Mike).

The Memory of Water runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 3 until Saturday 18 May.