Pericles Snowdon’s title refers to an old English saying: Once upon a time it was improper to refer to one’s elder with just the third person singular. Mothers, aunties and grannies had a name or ‘title’; they weren’t just ‘she’, because “Who is ‘she’?” “The Cat’s Mother!”

This is only one of the many layers to this wonderfully imaginative and innovative piece by all-female theatre company FoxedUp, which evolves around memory, friendship and fate.

Six women wake up confused in an empty warehouse, seemingly ripped from their lives and brought here. As they try to find their way out, the guardian of the space - Tabitha - introduces herself. She explains to us the concept of memory palaces. It’s a system to help you remember large amounts of information: You imagine a place you know well and place ‘memories’ in each room. Once you visit the room in your mind, you should be able to remember the piece of information you stored within. But how reliable is this method, especially if the memory is an emotional one?

When the trapped women discover their childhood toys in the room, they each start to remember incidents which might have led to this imprisonment. Once they confront Tabitha a story unravels which questions the way we remember our past.

Its surreal concept bares traces of the films Inception and The Butterfly Effect, but effectively adapted for the stage: The audience are never quite sure what to believe or even whom to believe. To prevent it all becoming too intangible, Snowdon cleverly lets the plot unfold in a late eighties childhood in a small village.

The 80’s references are obviously more poignant if you remember that period, and it will have you smiling in recognition of Care Bears, the Smurfs, Chinese burns and swear jars. Everyone from a village will recognise the local folklore any inhabitant of Leap could recite. These different legends, explaining why Leap is cursed are told in yet another creative sequence showing off the well-oiled ensemble, but props should also go to directors Natalie Scott and Joseph Thorpe, who, despite a very complicated story structure, created a clear and hugely entertaining production.

At the end there are some questions left; one in particular regarding the recent memories of the six women, and a smaller one about the fate of the event’s catalyst. But if you can believe those six women can become trapped in that space, the rest can be a given.

The eerie atmosphere of the Courtyard theatre studio is perfect. For the complete sensorial experience, eat the complimentary LoveHearts; the smell and taste brings back childhood memories, putting you in the perfect frame of mind.

Reviews by Clarissa Widya

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The Blurb

All we really are is the memories of other people. And if no one remembers you, well...

FoxedUP Theatre presents the world premiere of The Cat’s Mother, a new play by Pericles Snowdon.

If you awoke in a room with your best friends from primary school, would you remember them? More to the point, would they remember you?

Six characters are brought together in extraordinary circumstances and through the maze of their memory, piece together a puzzle that unlocks the deepest secret of their childhood. Meanwhile, a seventh character has their fate in her fingertips. The only question worth asking is...who's she?

The Cat's Mother - a modern day mystery with a retro twist & lashings of dark comedy.

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