Monday, 31 March 2014

Denise Scott in Mother Bare, March 30, 2014 ****

Fairfax Studio, Melbourne Arts Centre, until April 20, 2014
Directed by Colin Batrouney 
Stars: ****
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on March 30
Review also published in Herald Sun online March 31, 2014. KH
Funny mummy’s tales of woeful births and dysfunctional parenting 

After seeing Mummy Bare, you’ll never again think of the miracle of birth without picturing Denise Scott doing her comical Caesarian Crouch Crawl up the maternity ward.

Scottie’s wry, unembellished delivery and relaxed demeanour make her wicked and self-deprecating material seem even more outrageous.

She is absolutely unembarrassable (Well, it’s a real word now!) so she can talk with alacrity about her dodgy, heart-shaped uterus, her bosom squashed into a too-tight evening gown, or her failed gig at Parramatta decades ago.

With just a crooked smile or a mischievous grin, she unashamedly admits to boozing and smoking while breast-feeding or secretly resenting her partner not pursuing his career as a doctor – correction – a rich doctor.

She mines her dysfunctional parenting style for jokes that allow her to embarrass her children, firstly as bright-eyed tiny tots, then disdainful teens and finally as successful adults.

This is a comic who is happily ageing disgracefully because it simply provides more raw material about bodily functions, family and failure – and no one would be game to stop her.

From her first moments of charming, waggish interaction, she has the audience is in the palm of her hand, then she works them vigorously like the play-dough she made when her kids were toddlers.

The crowd winces at her droll stories of hospitalisation, gasps at her outlandish revelations, and shrieks at her naughty, sexual tales.

The mothers (and some dads) in the house hooted and clapped at Scottie’s uproarious descriptions of staying awake all night to make tortuously complicated cakes from The Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Cookbook.

Denise Scott is a consummate storyteller and comedienne who audaciously dredges up her past and that of her family to produce comic gold for our pleasure. Thanks Scottie.

By Kate Herbert

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