Mother, Wife, and the Complicated Life

Mother, Wife, and the Complicated Life
Book and Lyrics: Amity Dry. Music: Amity Dry & Mark Simeon Ferguson. Popjam Productions. Designer/Director - David Lampard. Musical Director - Mark Simeon Ferguson. Lighting Design - Emily VanWinkle. Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran - 1st to 5th May, 2013. Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre, Sydney - 23rd May to 1st June 2013.

In this new musical we enter the world of four friends, each at a different stage of the marriage and motherhood experience.   Lily (Rosanne Hoskings) is the thriving restaurant owner, married to a loving husband and mother of two;  Bec (Nikki Aitken) is the stay at home mum with three kids under 3; Jessie (Rachel McCall) is hanging out for her boyfriend to propose so she can stop hiding the bridal magazines and Kate (Amity Dry) is the career woman who finds her planned future altered dramatically by an unexpected pregnancy. We follow these four ladies over the next year of their lives as they share their fears, expectations, joys and disappointments.

As a mother and online parenting writer, Amity Dry has tapped into some home truths about the everyday lives of wives and mothers, andpresented the humour, frustrations, regrets and sadness in this full length musical which is largely sung. And in the tradition of good musicals the songs progress the story or deepen our understanding of the characters.

The vocal work was outstanding; the four voices were impressive individually and outstanding when combined, and diction was clear and easily understood.

The cast were confident and scenes flowed well. There were moments of high comedy and deep pathos and the four actors worked beautifully together allowing each to shine in their own way.

This show has been staged a number of times in its development and the next stop is New York as the show has been selected as one of 30 chosen to be part of the New York Music Theatre Festival in July where it will be performed for US audiences by Broadway performers. 

Techie Stuff….

The set, designed by David Lampard, is a clever design, which at first appears to be the inside front wall of a house with a door and two windows, inbuilt shelving, and a table and chairs. Soon the doors and windows are being rolled around the stage to create different spaces such as outside, a restaurant, a hospital interior. The attention to detail and the finish on this set was excellent. Four structural columns were faced with opaque plastic and rear lit with LED to help delineate different locations.

Lighting by Emily VanWinkle generally supported the action onstage but the brightness of the LED columns behind the actors often made faces look dull. One major dance number featured the LED columns leaving the cast far too much in darkness. More FOH lighting or less LED required.

Voices and band were fully amplified, which worked well as there was virtually no spoken dialogue. The balance between vocals and band at times saw the band winning, but generally the audio was excellent.

Shirley Jensen

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