A journey of discovery and forgiveness.
Samuel Adamson’splay All About My Mother, is based on Pedro Almodóvar’s Oscar winning film of the same name. The project originated in 2002 when Australian producer Daniel Sparrow approached Almodóvar’s film production company, El Deco, with the idea of developing a stage play of All About My Mother. He was granted exclusive rights to translate the screenplay, and draw from the film in the development of a stage play. Sparrow invited Samuel Adamson to write the play and in 2005 was joined by the Old Vic and Neal Street Productions as co-producers.
Almódovar has remained close to the development of the play and when talking about the project commented:
"When Daniel Sparrow offered to develop and produce All About My Mother for the stage, I thought it was natural. There is a lot of theatre in my film and after reading Samuel Adamson’s adaption, I felt something very special. The characters I had created for the film did not yield an inch of their nature, yet fitted the stage perfectly."
The story centres around Manuela who, when her seventeen year-old son dies, leaves her job and takes to the road to search for her son’s transgender father. In Barcelona, she becomes involved with three women in crisis: a young nun, a famous actress and a drag queen. The play features an all star cast including Paul Capsis, Blake Davis, Katie Fitchett, Wendy Hughes, David James, Jolyon James, Katerina Kotsonis, Peta Sergeant, Louise Siversen and Alison Whyte.
Alison Whyte, who takes on the role of Manuela, recently spoke to MCV wherein she shared her views about her role, the film and the story.
"I think the adaptation is really skilfully done; Samuel Adamson’s really captured the film. There are scenes in the movie that you think, that’s film, how can you do that? But I think he’s done it very skilfully. "
The play has been described as being for all mothers, everywhere. With its nods to Tennessee Williams and All About Eve, Almodóvar’s great exploration of a mother’s strength and life’s frailty has been turned into a superb play.
Whyte seems to agree with the sentiments as she continues: "Mine is the Manuela role, the mother role – and it’s amazing and huge and beautiful – such a beautiful film. Unbelievably touching, with such a world… It’s hard to explain to someone, you think ‘Oh my God what a ridiculous story!’ But it all just makes so much sense. It’s such a melodrama but when you actually see it, it makes sense. The emotional journeys all add up. It’s such a theatrical film; it has all those references to A Streetcar Named Desire and Blood Wedding. And the set has a real flavour of that Almodóvar aesthetic, when you see it you go, ‘Wow!’"
Simon Phillips, Artistic Director and Director of All About My Mother speaks enthusiastically about its inclusion in MTC’s 2010 season:
"There’s enough heart, heartbreak, quirky coincidence and unexpected adventure in this play to single-handedly justify our season’s roller coaster metaphor. I think it’s partly because Almodóvar’s great cinematic celebration of maternal love was already steeped in the lore of the theatre that this stage adaptation is so successful. Ex-pat Australian Sam Adamson found his own depths and resonances, creating a play that, in its breadth of feeling and richness of tone, has the hallmarks of a modern stage classic. I’m delighted to be working with the magnificent Wendy Hughes, an icon playing an icon, to be reunited with sensational cabaret diva Paul Capsis, and to be introducing Blake Davis, as the young catalyst for Almodóvar’s ‘screwball drama’."
All About My Mother – MTC Theatre, Sumner
Season dates: 14 August to 26 September 2010
Opening night: Thursday 19 August 2010 at 8:00pm
Tickets: $42.55 – $83.15 (Under 30s $30)
Booking information: MTC Box Office (03) 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au
Last chance to purchase a Mini Subscription: 3-6 play packages start from as little as $130.80, Under 30s just $75.00. MTC Box Office (03) 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au