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Mom’s the Word showcases both joys and trials of motherhood PDF Print E-mail
Written by RACHAEL FREY   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 11:09

Theatre Calgary play delves into the real mommy experience

Everyone knows that unconditional love is what motherhood is all about. Well, maybe that’s not quite all – it’s also about sleepless nights, hemorrhoids, lack of privacy, grated zucchini projectiles and numerous other things, some of which are not entirely sweet and pleasant.

Theatre Calgary’s production of Mom’s the Word: For Crying Out Loud isn’t sugar-coating life as a mom; instead, they seek to showcase it in all it’s hilarious and heartbreaking glory, from pregnancy through to the teen years and beyond.

“It’s quite an honest look at motherhood,” said Nikki Loach, who plays one of the five mothers in Mom’s the Word. “There’s tons of relevance in this play. I think that’s why it has had such a successful history, because it has many different voices that represent all kinds of motherhood struggles and successes.”

Mom's The Word: For Crying Out Loud is a funny and honest look at the great institution of motherhood. The Theatre Calgary production is running from April 26 to May 21.
Photo courtesy of Theatre Calgary


Dennis Garnhum, Theatre Calgary’s artistic director, said in a release that their production is “the newest version of a series of plays that have travelled far and wide playing to packed houses.”

Mom’s the Word was written by five performers and moms living in Vancouver who decided to create a play that would tell their real stories of motherhood. The show was written in 1993 and first performed that year at the Women in View festival.

In the first play, all the authors’ children were under six so the show related to the trials that mothers of newborns and toddlers go through. Later, they wrote a second play about the stresses of raising teenagers, and Mom’s The Word: For Crying Out Loud is a combination of the two.

“It’s very funny, it’s very sweet, but it’s also very true,” Garnhum said. “It’s got some nasty truths, some ugly stuff I didn’t know about motherhood and that I didn’t want to know, but you can’t stop laughing because it’s all true.”

Kira Bradley, who plays another of the five moms, said, “It’s so sent-up and hilarious, just pricelessly funny, and then there’s so much that’s poignant about it that brings you to tears.

“Any mom or dad or anyone who’s been near kids, they’re going to have so much fun seeing themselves in the characters on stage.”

Bradley said there are parts of the play that she can directly relate to in her own life. In the play, one character’s baby is the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital for three months, and Bradley’s 10-month-old baby had to spend 10 days in the ICU.

“There are certain things she shares that I totally relate to, about the process of being in the ICU and what that’s like,” she said. As for her relationship with her own mother, Bradley said, “It gives me some insight into what she went through.”

Loach, who has a five-year-old son, said the play appeals to her because it’s so upfront about both the positives and the negatives of being a mom, instead of just trying to gloss over the fact that raising kids can be very difficult and isolating.

“I remember someone saying to me, ‘Do you just love being a mother?’ I mean, I love my son, but do I love being a mother? It’s a challenging job,” she said.

Mom’s the Word will be opening at Theatre Calgary on April 26, in time for Mother’s Day, and runs until May 21. Leave the kids at home though, because it’s only for mature audiences.

“It is not for children,” Loach said. “It’s for mothers, and Mr. Moms, and anyone who has been left at home with a little one for any period of time who feels like they’re losing their mind.”