Everyone loves their mum. Some more than others. For many young Greek boys and girls, the love of the mother knows no bounds. This is the central idea behind a sensational series of sketches, It's A Mother! At times bittersweet but always affectionate, It's A Mother! puts Greek mothers on centre stage, paying tribute to the role the have played in bringing up generations of children.
The show is put on by the Sidetrack Performance Group, a veteran Sydney group who are performing the show for the first time in the Athens of the south. The cast of three, Alex Blias, Elena Carapetis and Natalie Alexopoulos work tirelessly to create rich, believable characters with depth and subtlety. A team of writers have written the sketches and the ideas are tied together by the sure hand of director Don Mamouney.
The sketches present a variety of Greek mothers, all neatly fulfilling the expectations of motherhood. One of the most hilarious 'mothers' is Stavroulis, a well-to-do Greek Dame Edna who is eagerly seeking a partner for her beloved son. What follows is a hilarious commentary on the social taboos that a conservative Greek mother perceives in a potential daughter-in-law. The old are out. So are the ugly. And the frail. And the Catholic. Indeed the one who makes it almost through to the end finds the ultimate downfall to be food: the potential bride might be a better cook than the doting mother.
Usually the mother is the subject rather than the object, actively asserting her authority over her children. In one very moving scene, an elderly mother is alone in an aged care home, seemingly dead to the world. As her loving son sees her in this decrepit state he agonises over her, desperately seeking to please her despite the mother's obliviousness. The scene is simultaneously pathetic and uplifting, showing that even in a state near death a mother is the ultimate authority.
Some of the sketches are side-splittingly funny, whilst others are warm and contemplative. All of them, though, make you ache for a Greek mother of your own.