Matrophobia adelaide fringe 2017Adelaide Fringe. The Daughter Collective. Bakehouse Studio Theatre. 13 Mar 2017


Hobbling figure. Shrill old lady voice. Plucking hairs from the face.

And so we meet the mother figures of Matrophobia.


The Daughter Collective, which the Fringe program says comes from NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA, has put on a show telling the world about how they fear becoming like their mothers. To that end, they do a spectacular demolition job on mothers. It is of such unbridled hatred that this mother cringed in her seat, blessed the fact that she had given birth to sons, and wished she could be somewhere else.


The three onstage cast members take poses for snippets of song and sit on stools; one reading, one sewing, and one grooming herself.

And they describe their mothers - turkey gobbles, drooping skin, sagging breasts, wrinkles, furrows, fissures from the lips, Hobbit feet, lattice works of green-blue veins, hands which can look like claws, a crack down the tongue.

It’s a loveless and unfunny barrage.


They go on to say how much their mothers annoy them, how valueless are their lives, how shallow to be devoted to cooking and caring even if they do go out to work. Mum does not challenge herself. Her life is stagnant. “Windex does not bring clarity of mind.”

Of course, youth does not bring enlightenment, either. These girls are in their 20s and, clearly, they think they will always be in their 20s.


Their ageist rants and general mocking of older women goes on, sometimes so stridently that one’s ears hurt. For some reason they strip down to undies and squeeze into corset-like shape garments and prance about in them. One young man in the audience finds it hilarious. The elastic garments squeeze into body cracks and look obscene. But that’s OK because they have a rant about their sexual organs and, gee whizz, they have a lot of different names for them.


They go on to dare to call themselves “Nasty Women”, clearly with no understanding of the political implications of this movement. Their “nasty” is crude, not strong.

Then they come out with toy babies attached to their breasts and leap about swinging babies. Huh?

At this point, your critic is beyond comprehension of what these young women think about anything at all.


When, with their street clothes on again, they stand front of stage and declare that they admire their mothers for their achievements and really love them more than anything for ever and ever, one utters an ironic laugh. However sincere they try to look, the damage has been done.


Samela Harris


When: 13 to 18 Mar

Where: Bakehouse Theatre Studio