Review by Cameron Woodhead, The Age, 23 August 2018.
Absurdities of motherhood laid bare in hilarious romp
I’m happy to report that after being devastated by fire in May, La Mama Theatre has set up temporary digs at Trades Hall in Carlton, where offerings from its winter program continue to be shown in a convivial atmosphere.
If La Mama lives on, the mother takes the stage – and takes on a life of her own – in Liz Skitch’s Mothermorphosis. You couldn’t ask for a show that channels the spirit of La Mama with more irreverence and passion.
You couldn’t ask for a show that channels the spirit of La Mama with more irreverence and passion.
Skitch takes aim at motherhood issues through anarchic comedy – a wickedly clever blend of knowing satire, surreal physical humour, clowning and burlesque, all honed into a beautifully flowing performance by director Maude Davey.
Mother and clown are a natural fit and Skitch is in turbo-mum mode from the outset, whipping up vegemite sandwiches for the audience. The show then formally opens with Skitch being upstaged by a chook in a cot. Her docile co-star Astrid generated instant and lasting hilarity, as the absurdities of nurturing were laid bare.
That isn’t the oddest surprise in the show, which encompasses everything from jaded monologues by fish-heads to childbirth sequences that blend pratfalls with comedic horror (interspersed with traumatic real stories of births gone awry) and a skit about breastfeeding featuring some very pendulous pumpkins.
And I still haven’t given away half of the bizarre delights in store.
While she probes some vexed territory, Skitch has a serious imagination for the ridiculous and has the skill to pull off a range of styles from narrative comedy to slapstick. Her seamless celebration of the pleasures and pains of motherhood rides high on left-field, impish humour, delivered with a sharpness and presence that will leave you helpless with laughter.
Back to Mothermorphosis show page