Anyone who greets me with a Vegemite sandwich instantly wins me over! So the moment I walked into Trades Hall, Carlton and was pounced upon by a frizzy haired pocket rocket of fun, clutching a tray of Vegemite soldiers, I knew I was in for something different and special.
Writer and performer Liz Skitch has had a long and distinguished career in comedy and her wealth of experience shows. Mothermorphosis takes us on an hilariously poignant journey into the realm of Motherhood. I know what you are thinking, “ANOTHER comedy piece on the struggles of Motherhood’, but this is very different. Mothermorphosis not only gives us the funny and ridiculous to motherhood but at the same time keeps intact the achingly human realisation.
Armed with a handful of self written monologues and recorded interviews from women about their own motherhood experiences, Skitch, herself pregnant with her second child, collaborated with director Maude Davey, a union that fits very well together. Davey explains…What we have tried to do is bring the material together that transcends the sketch comedy formula and provides an uplifting, ridiculous, respectful and wonderful celebration of how it feels from the inside to have your life turned upside down’. And this they do so successfully. What we witness is a wonderfully directed and beautifully rounded performance from the absurd to the very very real.
This is a very audience participatory piece (whatever you do, do not miss the opportunity to take some soup! Delicious!) and Skitch has us firmly grasped as she weaves through harsh realities and confronting realisations. Interspersed with the poignant narratives collected in the community, the often choreographed vignettes, from almost liturgical to the simplicity of folding away baby clothes, highlight beautifully the stories of joy, tragedy, love and loss.
Skitch introduces us to some wonderfully realised characters like, well, herself Liz …..but Liz is soon pushed aside in favour of “Molly’s Mum” an experience not unfamiliar to every mother out there – the losing of ones personal identity. And the fantastic kaftan wearing Wendy, in reality her own mother. Wendy is a fabulously nuanced characterisation. And the voice over by Skitch’s real mother, is tear jerkingly good.
There really is so much to love about this production. Not only in performance and direction, but also Lara Weeks chaotically practical set and the spot on tech support (Richard Vabre – Lighting and Chris Wenn – Sound Design.)
Mothermorphosis performs at Trades Hall, Carlton until 2 September and I encourage all to go see this one woman tour de force before it sells out – because it deserves to.