Three estranged sisters meet on the eve of their mother’s funeral to argue and misremember in Shelagh Stephenson’s examination of the structures of memory and family.
As they attempt to organise her funeral, their memories of their childhood run together and the secrets of their separate lives are revealed. Theresa, owner of an alternative therapy business, is angry that she was left to care for their dying mother. Mary, a doctor, is still struggling with a deep loss from her past. Catherine seeks attention through a succession of short-term partners.
When the play opened at the Hampstead
Theatre, London, in 1996 it was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Comedy. But
it is melancholic too, as the emotional bruises of the sisters’ childhood
emerge. Memories fade, blur and persist as the sisters bicker, watched over by
the ghost of the mother to whom they are preparing to say goodbye.