Motherhood play brings laughs to Belfry

Moms bring comedic act to Victoria theatre

Left to right: Actresses Beverley Elliott

A mother lode of comic adventures in parenting is now playing at the Belfry Theatre.

Five Vancouver-based moms are back with a compilation of their funniest skits, dances and songs in Mom’s the Word: Remixed.

This hilarious parody of childrearing began in 1993 when the actress moms decided to take the highs and lows of parenting on stage. Since then this play has spread worldwide with actresses in many countries performing it in their own languages.

Actress and mom Barbara Pollard called the skit wacky, colourful, fun and something to which moms of any age or demographic can relate.

“These are stories about our journeys as mothers,” she said.

It began when the moms, all working professionals in theatre, had kids around the same time and couldn’t find any work.

At the time there were lots of textbooks on raising children, but nothing being acted on stage involving raising children, so they set out to change that.

“We were grappling in the dark. When we first did the show we gathered together as a group of friends telling stories and tried to plant a framework (for the skit),” said Pollard.

Jill Daum remembers the first show. “We were supposed to run for three days and the arts club in Vancouver picked us up and we ran for nine months. The first night the audience stood up, clapped, walked toward the stage and hugged us. Back then we were just talking heads. We were talking about parenting and telling stories and there was very little plot.”

Over the years they evolved to get a director, a set and costumes.

“It’s more polished now,” said Daum.

Dressed in outrageous superhero costumes decorated with scouring pads, cheese graters, eggbeaters and vegetable strainers, they sing to the Pussycat Dolls song “Don’t Cha.”

“The costumes are alienators because when you have teenagers you can alienate them with a glance. Just being in the same room, from the moment you wake up, you are mortifying to your teenage children and we embraced the furthest extreme of mortification,” explained Daum.

The show stars Daum, Pollard, Beverley Elliott, Alison Kelly, and Deborah Williams. Scenes take the audience through birth, raising children, co-parenting conflicts, and the dreaded teenage years.

“It shows the good, bad, and the ugly. That is the secret of the success,” said Kelly. “If you wrote only funny stories, it wouldn’t have the truth. We let out secrets and it’s a show for everybody who has had a mom. After 18 years, I still adore the lines.”

“It is being acted by women worldwide and people can’t believe it’s Canadian. People can’t believe how it speaks to the universality of parenting,” she said.

Mom’s the Word: Remixed runs until Aug. 21 with tickets ranging from $23 to $38 available by phone at 250-385-6815 or at www.belfry.bc.ca/tickets. It shows nightly Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. with a 4 p.m. matinee on Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The Belfry is at 1291 Gladstone Ave.

editor@vicnews.com

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