The Family Are Reuniting To Face The Music In MUM'S CHOIR

The Family Are Reuniting To Face The Music In MUM'S CHOIRThe Court Theatre is celebrating New Zealand Theatre Month this September with a play full of music, laughter and, of course, a gloriously typical Kiwi family in Mum's Choir.

Mum's Choir follows the O'Reilly family reuniting in Palmerston North after the death of their mum, Molly. She hasn't gone quietly, however, with her final request an almost impossible task: for her kids (now adults with children of their own) to sing Fauré's Requiem at her funeral.

For Ross Gumbley, the Artistic Director at The Court and director of Mum's Choir, the play is about "the power of family when we all come together. It's brilliant because the galvanizing force in the O'Reilly family is a love of music and song. Their whanau takes so much strength in being able to come together and pay tribute to their mother through her final request, for her family to sing Fauré's Requiem."

Gumbley and writer Alison Quigan worked together at Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North when Quigan was the Artistic Director - and where Mum's Choir was written and first performed, based on Quigan's experience when her own mother died in 2001.

"This is, I think, Alison Quigan's finest play. And that's hard for me to say, because I wrote seven with her... But it's her best because it's her most personal."

A huge part of Mum's Choir is the music, with songs performed during the play including After You've Gone, That's Amore, Accentuate the Positive, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Hine E Hine, We'll Meet Again and, of course, the glorious Requiem by Fauré.

"The play takes place in a family that, for years since they've all been small, have sat around the piano. Singing is a must in this family. So, there are all those standard songs that mum would have in her piano stall when you lift that up - all those loved classics of sheet music," Gumbley says.

The cast performing those loved classics includes Eilish Moran; Paul Barrett; Lynda Milligan; Nick Dunbar; Amy Straker; Julie Edwards and Wiremu Waretini.

For Gumbley, Mum's Choir is a timeless New Zealand play that, 14 years on, is still just as relevant and powerful as it was when it was first written, telling the story of a family coming together in celebration.

"Mum's Choir is a play which reaches out and touches your heart. It really is a symbol of where New Zealand plays have come from - and how good they are."

Mum's Choir opens at The Court Theatre on 15th September and runs through until 6th October.

Bookings: phone 03 963 0870 or visit www.courttheatre.org.nz

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