Brooke Williams played Lucy in Mr. Marmalade at the BATS Theatre in 2008, the role for which she won the Chapman Tripp Award for Best Female Newcomer in 2009.
Lucy is a four year old girl with a vivid imaginary life. Her role models and care takers are all far more interested in alcohol, cigarettes, and themselves than they are in her. In response to this, Lucy creates an imaginary friend called ‘Mr. Marmalade.’ However, throughout the course of the play he becomes more of a foe.
Mr. Marmalade takes the imaginary life of a four year old named Lucy as its subject matter and uses its intersections with her ‘real’ life to provoke thought about the impacts of emotional deprivation and neglect on a mind being shaped by a bombardment of disturbing influences. The men are apathetic and absent. The lack of meaningful human interaction in Lucy’s life has led her to create Mr Marmalade, her imaginary friend who becomes far more like a foe.
Mr Marmalade unfolds himself through a window into Lucy’s world, usually as a result of an appointment set by his nervous and downtrodden personal assistant, Bradley. Lucy’s mistreatment has crossed over into her imaginary world – instead of a refuge it becomes an extension of the emotionally abusive situation she experiences at home. Mr Marmalade’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and violent and their interactions become more reminiscent of situations of domestic violence than play.Source: Lumiere Reader