A play about the everyday lives and extravagant, sometimes fantastical inner lives of two nonagenarian women and their 60+ plus daughters, Marvellous will be presented at La Mama Courthouse this February.
Featuring Meredith Rogers and Hester Joyce with Melbourne theatre veteran Maude Davey as director and co-devisor, Marvellous inter-weaves the voices and psycho-physicalities of these women: their connectedness, their failing/falling bodies, their wayward imaginative memory worlds.
The impact of the Covid pandemic has brought into glaring focus our need to think about how we care for the “oldest old” – this most vulnerable cohort, in our families and communities. How do we remember what they mean to us? What they have given us? And how can we assist them in this last, possibly most difficult stage of their lives?
Marvellous gives back to audiences many of their own experiences and dilemmas in caring for their own elders. Making theatre about relationships between mothers and daughters is not new to this team.
In 1986 Feminist theatre Company Home Cooking Theatre Co premiered Running Up a Dress – a play about mothers and daughters and sewing at the first Melbourne International Arts Festival. Meredith played daughters from babyhood to young motherhood and mothers becoming grandmothers.
A decade later Maude made Never Let Me Go with Margaret Mills and Melissa Reeves, in which they played themselves and their own mothers. When her mother turned 84, Hester began recording her stories.
When she turned 90 there began another set of adventures discovering what being 90 meant for Mary and for her daughters. In Marvellous this trio of artists, representing decades of significant Feminist practice, revisit these complex relationships as their mothers approach the end of their lives.
Director / Dramaturg: Maude Davey Writers / Performers: Hester Joyce, Meredith Rogers Composer / Sound Designer: Madeleine Flynn Lighting Designer: Gina Gascoigne
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton
Season continues to 28 February 2021
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: Hester Joyce and Meredith Rogers – photo by Ponch Hawkes