The Memory of Water

Catherine:      Fuck it! (Silence. She bursts into racking sobs) I went to this counsellor – did I tell you this?- or a therapist or something and she said that I had this problem and the problem was, I give to much, I just do too much for other people, I’m just a very giving person, and I never get any credit for any of it. I haven’t even got any friends. I mean, I have but I don’t like most of them, especially the women, and I try really hard, it’s just that I’m very sensitive and I get taken for a ride, nothing ever goes right, every time, I mean, every time it’s the same – like with men. What is it with men? I mean, I don’t have a problem with men or anything. I love men. I’ve been to bed with seventy-eight of them, I counted, so obviously there’s not a problem or anything, it’s just he didn’t even apologise or anything and how can he say on the phone he doesn’t want to see me any more? I mean, why now? Why couldn’t he have waited? I don’t know what to do, why does it always go wrong? I don’t want to be on my own, I’m sick of people saying I’ll be better off on my own, I’m not that sort of person, I can’t do it. I did everything for him, I was patient and all the things you’re supposed to be and people kept saying don’t accept this from him, don’t accept that, like, you know, when he stayed out all night, not every often, I mean once or twice, and everyone said tell him to fuck off, but how could I because what if he did? Because they all do, everyone I’ve ever met does, they all disappear and I don’t know if it’s me or what. I don’t want to be on my own, I can’t stand it, I know it’s supposed to be great but I don’t  think it is. I can’t help it, it’s no good pretending, it’s fucking lonely and I can’t bear it.

This monologue is from The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson. It’s from Catherine – The youngest sister of three – who have just lost their mother. She is thirty-three and come home for the funeral. She is extremely childish and self-absorbed. I really like this monologue because it explores issues of family and also mental health issues. It is her opening up to her family about her, now, ex-boyfriend. It is also quite enjoyable to do, because you can have fun with it and make it quite melodramatic and put on the façade that everything is so terrible for her. I’m using this for some of my auditions for Uni, and hopefully will be quite good for it.


2 Replies to “The Memory of Water”

  1. Hi,

    Just come across your post. I am looking into performing this monologue for drama school. Please could you tell me if there are any other ways of performing it without acting sad and crying.

    Thank you.


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