Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
From Here to Maternity, June 10, 2015 **1/2
By Mikhaela Bourke and Lana Meltzer, co-writer Elise Hearst Theatre Works from June 10 to 14, 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: **1/2 Review also in Herald Sun in print and online on Fri June 12. 2015. KH
Lana Meltzer & Mikhaela Bourke
and their bubs provide great mileage for light drama or sketch comedy because
so many people recognise the chaos, exhaustion, obsession and hilarity of early
Here to Maternity, created and performed by Mikhaela Bourke and Lana Meltzer
with additional writing by Elise Hearst, is a series of short, comic and
dramatic scenes ranging from heartfelt monologues to satirical sketches.
is Identification Theatre that reflects the experiences of not only newly
minted parents, but also anyone who has had babies, knows people with babies,
or sat in a cafe near mothers with cute or crying babies.
performers are warm and engaging and some sketches really tickle the audience,
but Eli Erez’s production looks and sounds like a university revue and the
quality of direction, performance and writing is equally uneven.
the unpolished style sometimes adds to the enjoyment of the vignettes such as in
the dialogue where two new mums – a competitive boaster (Meltzer) and her
harried friend (Bourke) – compare their babies’ development. Guess whose baby
is perfect in every way!
a parodyof a TV game show, the
Super-Mum carry-over champion (Meltzer) knows the right answer to every baby
dilemma and drives her fraught competitor (Bourke) to despair that she is a bad
sketches depict two mummies trying to have a ‘normal’ conversation that either
deteriorates into babbling baby talk directed into their prams or into the
disconnected ramblings of two women suffering sleep deprivation.
earnest monologue describes the peace and joy of pregnancy and preparing for
birth while others reveal the trauma of being unable to conceive or suffering
succession of video sketches satirises the peculiar compulsion of some parents
to rescue the placenta and do weird things with it. It’s a bit icky, really.
couple of scenes incorporate abstract movement that makes them look like a
school drama exercise and detracts from the impact of the themes.
are some clever audio-visual projections (Piper Huyn) but the set design needs
show resembles the Canadian hit production, Mum’s the Word, and shares some of
the shambolic charm, silliness and earnestness of that very successful show.
its considerable theatrical shortcomings, From Here to Maternity is
light-hearted and diverting for those that identify with its themes of new
parents and their babies.