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Mother & Son – Canberra Theatre (review)

By Steven Bailey - 9 February 2015 6

motherandson

From the grave to light-hearted cheer, the classic Australian TV series Mother & Son  found its way to the Canberra Theatre. The modernised adaptation of the six series, by the original writer Geoffrey Atherden, combines playful and poignant moments that all families experience with the inevitable deterioration of a loved one.

As twinkle-eyed mother Maggie, played by Noeline Brown, grapples with an increasingly confusing and depersonalised existence of mobile phones, automated messaging systems, and Skype conversations with her grandchildren, her second son Arthur is torn between caring for her and pursuing his love Anita, played by a lively and likeable Rachael Beck.

Hindered by his perfidious brother Robert, played by Rob Carlton, middle-aged Arthur attempts to live some of his life independent of his demanding mother. The result is a witty, gentle and generous performance that explores the delicate interplays within a family of dysfunctional dynamics.

Warm, light and never dull, Mother & Son is a nostalgic saunter down one of Australia’s memory lanes, and accessible to all ages.

Mother & Son by Geoffrey Atherden was performed at the Canberra Theatre from 4-7 February 2015. Produced by Spencer McLaren, Joseph Thomsen and Dean Murphy. Directed by Roger Hodgman. 

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6 Responses to
Mother & Son – Canberra Theatre (review)
Ben_Dover 10:02 am 11 Feb 15

We saw it on the Thursday night. Very well done, but softened a bit. Noline could not pull off that happy malice that Ruth Cracknell portrayed, so she was made more scatterbrained than nasty. But a good night out and an enjoyable play.

Eddie Izzard at Llewellyn Hall was worthwhile also.

astrojax 7:13 am 11 Feb 15

not sure which show you saw, steven, but opening night was pretty flawless [apart from an open backstage door that showed the stagehands setting up the rear revolving scene on a couple occasions]; and it was remiss of you not to name darren gilshenan, playing arthur.

watto23 10:04 am 10 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

That’s the time we wanted to go but when we phoned them late Saturday morning there were no concessions offered.

Strange. Admittedly we called at 1pm realising it was the last day it was on and then rushed in. I agree that sometimes shows at the theatre are a bit pricey. I feel this show was probably worth it due to the calibre of actors involved.

dungfungus 10:52 pm 09 Feb 15

watto23 said :

We got 2 tickets for $90 on the Saturday matinee session in a last minute deal when we phoned the theatre. Kind of a last minute decision and there were still seats available.

My friend who is 10 years younger than me hadn’t seen the TV series. The Saturday matinee audience was considerably older than us both with a sprinkling of mid 30’s around who probably watched it as a child.
We both laughed and it was very faithful in many ways to the TV series except that Arthur got to actually take his holiday! I liked the integration of modern technology like mobile phones and TV remotes as well.

That’s the time we wanted to go but when we phoned them late Saturday morning there were no concessions offered.

watto23 5:28 pm 09 Feb 15

We got 2 tickets for $90 on the Saturday matinee session in a last minute deal when we phoned the theatre. Kind of a last minute decision and there were still seats available.

My friend who is 10 years younger than me hadn’t seen the TV series. The Saturday matinee audience was considerably older than us both with a sprinkling of mid 30’s around who probably watched it as a child.
We both laughed and it was very faithful in many ways to the TV series except that Arthur got to actually take his holiday! I liked the integration of modern technology like mobile phones and TV remotes as well.

dungfungus 12:32 pm 09 Feb 15

I wanted to go to this contemporary, live production but the seats, starting at $75, were beyond my current means.

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