Motherload Opening Night Photos and Reviews

Motherload made its world premiere last week to great acclaim! This witty, clever, and touching show focuses on the challenges of mothering in the twenty-first century. Audiences and critics are laughing, crying, and sharing the joys and pains of motherhood.

Here are some of the critic and audience reviews:

“Motherload is an intimate gift” – Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“This social media generation are able to do something that the similarly themed Mom’s The Word was not able to do 15 years ago, as we not only hear the stories but we also get to see the pictures and videos that will make you either squeal with laughter or sigh in recognition” – David C Jones, Vancouver Presents

“Personal photos and videos combined with raw emotion, and unfiltered truth will leave you feeling connected … I laughed (a lot), I cried, and I saw a lot of myself as a mother reflected throughout the show” – Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine

“Funny, incredibly moving… raw and honest” – yoyomama

“Hey! YOU! Vancouver! Go get your Mom & take her to see Motherload at The Cultch. It’s funny, smart, brave & you’ll cry like a g’damn infant” – Chelah Horsdal @Chelahorsdal

“The writing, the acting (which couldn’t have been easy!), the audiovisuals, the directing – all fantastic! Funny and moving, sad and uplifting. There’s an honesty and a rawness in the autobiographical stories that reveal so much of the complex and contradictory and painful and joyful facets of parenting!” – Jackie

Don’t miss your chance to see this brilliant and touching new production!

Here are some photos from our opening night reception on. All photos were taken by volunteer photographer, Edward Juo.

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Enjoying the post-show reception

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Emelia Symington Fedy chatting with some guests

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Juno Rinaldi spotting the camera

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Star Moms Jody-Kay Marklew & Juno Rinaldi

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Star Moms Sonja Bennet & Emelia Symington Fedy

Motherload runs until February 21 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets start from $19 and are available on our website or by calling the box office at 604-251-1363.

Mump + Smoot: Hstry f Clwng nd Clwn Fobya (Ummonium, translates to History of Clowning and Clown Phobia)

Mump & Smoot live on the planet Ummo, worship the god Ummo and speak Ummonium – their own brand of gibberish. But as cute and cuddly as Mump & Smoot may sound, you’ll want to think twice about hugging these ‘clowns of horror’. Hailed as the ‘Laurel and Hardy from hell’ (Vancouver Sun), the pair of clowns use comedy to address all types of fears, from embarrassment to death to a visit to the doctor’s office. Says Michael Kennard (Mump), “All the horror stuff came from John and I wanting to examine fear and the fear that exists in human nature and the world.” [In ‘Something’,] “we start with a relatively gentle fear—by going to a café—around the issues of etiquette and manners, making a fool of yourself in public and being looked down upon by those who have a different set of decorum,”  John Turner (Smoot) says. “So we start kind of gently.” Which is great news for people who are curious about the show but perhaps a touch afraid of clowns!

If you are afflicted with coulrophobia (phobia of clowns) you’re not alone. Type ‘fear of clowns’ into Google search and you’ll find page after page dedicated to the subject. Before we look at the why, let’s delve a little in to the history of the clown.

The tradition of clowning goes back quite a ways; to ancient Greece even – one could argue that the pantomimes in Greek plays were the basis of the modern day clown. When we think ‘clown’ most of us think of the typical ‘whiteface’ clown – face and neck painted white, eyes, nose and mouth usually painted in black and red, ruffled collar, terrible jumpsuit situation and over-sized shoes. But there are many different types of clowns: jesters and fools often found in Shakespearean plays, the Tramp or Hobo (think Charlie Chaplin), and the character clown (think Rodeo Clown) to name a few.

Mump & Smoot fall into a sub-category of the ever-so-popular, sometimes funny, sometimes frightening and murderous, Whiteface Clown called the ‘Grotesque Whiteface’. Although the word ‘grotesque’ sounds frightful (and is somewhat fitting for a show like Mump & Smoot in Something), the term actually means odd or unnatural in shape, as are the features of this type of clown. The mouth and eyebrows are exaggerated not only with various colors but also shapes and a bulbous red nose is the cherry on top if you will.

So what’s up with coulrophobia? One theory put forth is something called the ‘uncanny valley effect’. This is when, say, a robot or actual person behaves almost human, but not quite, causing people to become extremely uncomfortable or even repulsed. Think of a clown acting sad or in pain but has a huge smile painted on his face. Frightening, no? It also doesn’t help that film and TV has vilified the poor clown like in Stephen King’s ‘It’ featuring the nightmare-inducing Pennywise. But there are also the awesomely hilarious clowns like Homey the Clown from ‘In Living Color’, Krusty the Clown from ‘The Simpsons,’ and our homegrown Canadian duo, Mump + Smoot.

Despite fear being a major component of the show people are coming back in droves and loving it. But don’t take our word for it and check out these rave reviews from Jo Ledingham and Colin Thomas!

Mump & Smoot runs at The Cultch until June 2. Tickets start at $17 and can be purchased at tickets.thecultch.com, by phone at 604.251.1363, or in person at The Cultch Box Office, 1895 Venables St.