Motherhood The Musical

The Q Theatre. 14 Aug 2012

Written by Sue Fabisch, Directed by Terence O’Connell with Musical Direction by Vicky Jacobs and Choreography by Sue-Ellen Shook

Brought to Australia by the same producers as Menopause the Musical, this production takes a look at the prequel - that dramatically life-altering adventure they call motherhood (the musical).

Amy (Sophie Weiss) is a wide-eyed, expectant first-time mother joined by her closest friends Brooke (Ziggy Clements) Barb (Lara Thew) and Trisha (Sophie Carter) at her baby shower, where they are imparting their collective wisdom and delighting in Amy’s rose-coloured naivety about what lies ahead.

While Brooke is juggling her family with her career as a lawyer, Barb is struggling with a brood of five and Trisha is adjusting to life as a single mother a divorcee – between them all, that’s a whole lot to sing and dance about.

Literally nothing goes unsung as the four explore every conceivable aspect of the subject of motherhood, most of it quite cliché and mainstream but presented with such boisterous energy, wit and heart-melting sincerity that you can’t help but be taken along for the ride.

Heartburn, bladder leakage, baby weight, cloth or disposable nappies, the choice to be “just a stay at home mum”, the excitement of bulk shopping at Costco and the poignant moments of bonding with a newborn; these and many more are given the onceover in this veritable goldmine of comedic material.

However, the absolute highlight of the evening was the quartet reminiscing about their once perky breasts to a version of The Way We Were (replace Memories, with Mammaries).

With the dialogue serving as a simple segue from one catchy tune to the next, this is a musical production to the extreme. However, there were some cracking one-liners and droll observations among the easy laughs that had the mostly female audience hooting in their seats.

Weiss, Clements, Thew and Carter all have strong and beautifully crafted voices that are as clear as a bell, displaying talents in a broad range of musical genres with a charming comedic twist. Their swift vocal, physical comedy and dance timing was smooth and harmonised, with an exciting pace and overall polished performance.

Everything about this show is brilliantly vibrant, from the personalities radiating from the stage and consistently entertaining songs, to the cheery technicolour set and the highly receptive audience having one ‘helluva’ time.

The best thing about this show is that they’ve taken what would usually be perceived as the mundane and transformed it into an experience that is special and exclusive – like having membership to a secret club. And for those not yet members, well it’s a good preview of things to come.

Motherhood the Musical is a pat on the back for all those mums out there who have gone through this most dramatic initiation in a woman’s life, and come out the other side with their sense of humour intact.

Deborah Hawke


When: 14 - 19 August
Where: The Q Theatre