Where would we be without our mothers? No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability returns with a sweet ode to mothers everywhere. Sons & Mothers is a heart-warming performance dedicated to the women who continue to love and support their sons through thick and thin.
Sons & Mothers is a collection of personal stories, told through various mediums that blend seamlessly together on stage. Photographs of the performers as children, video interviews with their mothers and, of course, physical performance are all used to create a collage-like story. There’s something very touching about seeing a mother praise their sons as they perform underneath. Quotes from the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain also appear on the white screens, adding just a little something extra that is hard to find in other performances.
No Strings Attached is a company with some incredible talent. Despite their various disabilities, each member of the men’s ensemble performs incredibly well and captures the audience’s attention and hearts. Alirio Zavarce, writer and director, has managed to use each performers’ talents and strengths to their best effect. From Ryan Rowland’s heavy metal guitar playing to Ricky Samai’s dancing, the performances show how these hidden talents can turn into something spectacular.
While Sons & Mothers is inspiring and moving, it can also be confronting. The stories of difficult births and childhoods are incredibly emotional. Hearing how the mothers persevered and dedicated themselves to supporting their beloved children was enough to wet the eyes of many in the audience.
The music in Sons & Mothers is well put together. Zavarce’s performance on violin is particularly entertaining, utilising the story of Damien Turbin as lyrics. Overall, the sound design is fantastic. The music chosen is absolutely right for the performance.
The set and use of props are perhaps some of the most interesting points of the performance. The huge white sheets that cover the stage back have images projected onto them, while the stage itself is covered in various homely knick-knacks and pieces of furniture. The set as a whole is intricate yet cosy and is utilised incredibly well by the performers. Use of simple things, like white sheets, to represent growing anger and frustration add interest without getting in the way of the performance itself. Having Ben Wishart act out his own birth with nothing but a colourful dress and a baby photo was one of the funniest and most clever instances of prop use.
Sons & Mothers is a well written, honest and absolutely charming performance. It is an inspiring tale that shows us how obstacles can be overcome with the right support and a fitting tribute to those who raised us. The performers and director, as well as those behind the scenes, definitely deserved the standing ovation that greeted them.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Venue: Space Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William St
Season: 17-26 October 2013
Duration: 1 hour
Bookings: Through BASS
Photo Source: Adelaide Festival Centre website