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Recollection - FortyFiveDownstairs (VIC)

Written by Georgia Ketels and directed by Cathy Hunt

Recollection takes you on an emotional journey, utilising all your senses, creating a unique form of theatrical storytelling

Reviewed by Paige Quinn

A PotKettleBlack Production working with FortyFiveDownstairs

Season 26 June - 7 July 2024

PotKettleBlack Productions unveils a heart-felt, sensory experience in its new play Recollection. Beautifully thought-out and written by Georgia Ketels, this play follows a grieving mother who is desperate to safe-keep her late daughter, Molly’s, memory in the form of a perfume. 

The audience are taken through two relative timelines; in recent past, teenager Molly, falls in love with a new school friend, Jenna, who introduces her to a world unlike her own, although at her mothers distress. In the present, Molly’s mother, Olivia, struggles to sort out the puzzle of Molly’s essence and is left to seek Jenna’s knowledge of her daughter’s true self. 

Recollection, fortyfivedownstairs (2024). Images by Shane Palmer

Director, Cathy Hunt, explores a wonderful and relatable vulnerability of the relationship between mother and daughter. With powerful moments of silence and raw emotion set to bring tears to the eyes, these moments are enhanced by the brilliant portrayal of intimacy by actors Eve Morey and Molly Holohan, who play the roles of mother and daughter; respectively.

Both Morey and Holohan bring to light the nuances of a complex relationship, playing together qualities of comedy with excellent comedic timing and expressions that allow audiences to settle into their natural performances with trust and ease. Ketels’ writing assists with this, as the audience feels they’re listening to real-life conversations, rather than it coming across as melodramatic.

Scent artist, Erin Adams, allows audiences into the world of the play...smells of fruits, dirt, candles and spices provide an inviting aroma

Respectfully, I am an actor first when it comes to critiquing a piece of theatre. Ariana, portrayed by Ravenna Bouckaert knew her role, a character who assists in providing an emotional outlet for Morey’s memories about her daughter. The role doesn’t go through the same extremity of emotions as Olivia’s, but it was done well. Although a possible directorial choice, Jenna portrayed by Mish Keating seemed to lack emotional depth compared to the other characters within the play. It definitely could have been intentional, to showcase the contrast between Olivia’s heightened emotions and Jenna’s stunted ones, but from an audience perspective it somewhat left me with questions.

Small confusion aside, the talented team behind the production are what truly makes this play a creatively new and adventurous story. Scent artist, Erin Adams, allows audiences into the world of the play, as throughout, we smell the various scents of Molly and her life alongside the characters. Smells of fruits, dirt, candles and spices provide an inviting aroma of how Olivia remembers her daughter. Adams assists the audience in experiencing something different and surprising, keeping people engaged and fully immersed within the various, fleshed-out layers of what this show has to offer. inspiring, heart-warming and tear-provoking new piece of theatre

The collaboration of lighting and sound enhances the emotive movement of the play, with the magical work of lighting designer, Emma Lockhart Wilson, and sound designer, Jess Keeffe. With beautiful hues of sunset oranges, vibrant greens and melancholic blues, Wilson and Keeffe provide insight into the themes of loss and regeneration so clearly explored in Recollection.  As each item belonging to the late Molly is placed within the intricately built set by Eloise Kent, it is solely lit up in a dreamy white light as soft, slow music plays overhead. Pairing these artistries together in this way creates an initial echo-like feeling of emptiness, the audience is left to sit in this moment of silence as we grieve and remember alongside Olivia. 

Recollection is a carefully thought-out production, perfectly piecing together a range of talents to create an inspiring, heart-warming and tear-provoking new piece of theatre. Make your way to FortyFiveDownstairs to catch this play- and bring a box of tissues while you're at it! 


Cast & Creatives

Writer: Georgia Ketels

Director: Cathy Hunt

Cast: Mish Keating (Jenna), Molly Holohan (Molly), Ravenna Bouckaert (Ariana), and Eve Morey (Olivia)

Producer: Georgia Ketels and Ravenna Bouckaert

Set/Costume Designer: Eloise Kent

Lighting Designer: Emma Lockhart-Wilson

Sound Designer: Jess Keeffe

Scent Artist: Erin Adams

Assistant Director: Chelsea Jones

Stage Manager: Sophie Walter

Sound and Lighting Technician: Lara Gabor

Intimacy Consultant: Isabella Vadiveloo


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