Review- Mother Matters- Apple Pie Productions


By: Matthew Gillespie

"Oh!... They did it again. They played with your heart, got lost in the game…”


Apple Pie Productions brought “Mother Matters” to Hong Kong for the second year in a row.  “Mother Matters:  The Mother of All Plays” is becoming an annual performance for local charities.  This year, all proceeds went to Foodlink Foundation, a local organization that is “dedicated to fighting hunger, building self-sufficiency and fostering nutritional wellness among those in need”.


Envisioned and created by Lisa Middleton, the general premise is that Mothers are to be celebrated.  The performance is comprised of a series of short prose and verse about what it is like to be a Mother and to be Mothered.  Each of these stories were contributed by new writers and performed by local artists.  


Some of the pieces were presented by the authors themselves while another artist presented others, although the audience isn’t let in on whose stories are their own.  But it doesn’t really matter.  Each piece is presented with trueness, as if it was their own story.  This is due to the highly capable performers:  David Tobin, Francis O’Grady, Jennie Davies, Joms Ortega, Keren Chaukria, Lara Owen, Lisa Middleton, Lizzi Wood, Sarah Martin, Tom McLean and Vanessa Eva-Louise Noble.  The entire evening was hosted and somewhat narrated by Alison Tan.


Alison Tan was a remarkable host, introducing each piece with an energy and tone that matched the ensuing tale.  The stories ranged from the great comedic ensemble piece which listed the all-encompassing trials that every mother must overcome to the truly dark abuse stories which too many mothers must endure.  But within each piece there lived a core strength that every mother must raise and protect their children.  In truth, we as an audience laughed, cried and felt for each and every story. 


This was a little different to the previous year's production which seemed to truly celebrate the incredibility of Mothers everywhere.  This year focused on their strengths and ability to be ‘Superhero Mums’.  This greatly affected the audience.  One couple in particular were constantly looking at each other and seemed to connect with nearly ever piece – laughing and crying and nodding in understanding.  


However, it did seem too heavy at times.  There didn’t ever really seem to be that piece that just said ‘Moms are great because…’ which the evening needed to help balance it out.  The energy and comedy of the group pieces definitely lightened the evening but even these were more about the tireless athleticism which every Mother must have. Keren’s yoga pose was priceless.


While there was a great range of stories from these authors, future productions also might consider trying to get more diverse perspectives.  What is the experience of Motherhood in the Middle East or Africa or different parts of Asia?  Because Hong Kong is such a diverse city, it would be amazing to hear what it is like to be a Mother or to be mothered by someone of a different heritage. This would not only open the eyes of the audience to other experiences but could bring in a broader and more diverse audience.  


My greatest grief about the production, though, is that there are just not enough performances.  Mothers of every kind should be celebrated; the gifts of these authors and artists should be heard and seen by many; and the charities supported by these giving artists are truly worthy of being better known.  


Next Mother’s Day, be sure to check out “Mother Matters”.  If possible, bring your Mother.  You will be truly touched and blessed.    

Mother Matters has now closed. For more information, click here.

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hongkong, theatre, review

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 3.0


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