BWW Review: MA, PA AND THE LITTLE MOUTHS, Tron Theatre
The stage setting is fairly bare for Ma, Pa and the Little Mouths. Everything on the stage is stone coloured and the living room that we see isn't exactly well cared for.
It becomes clear early on that Ma is unable to leave the house. The windows are covered with curtains, blankets on top of the curtains and then any slight gap is taped up so that no light can enter. Pa leaves the house once a week to get the messages in. The pair pass the time by telling each other fantastical stories and tonight, for the first time in a long time, they are joined by a guest.
Martin McCormick's script is an absolute dream for picking apart. The language is so descriptive and rich and all three members of the cast have such wonderful delivery. Each has their own monologue which offers something completely different. As Ma (Karen Dunbar) tells a tale which just might be true (or then again could be nonsensical ramblings) she balances suspense with humour and gives what has to be the finest chicken impersonation you'll see onstage all year.
The play flips between moments of great tension and absolutely ludicrous. Pa (Gerry Mulgrew) spends his evening performing concerts for Ma while she eats knickerbocker glorys and they insist their guest also does a turn. Nalini Chetty plays Neil, the unsuspecting visitor who is at first absolutely mortified by the whole situation.
Ma, Pa and the Little Mouths is such a bizarre piece of theatre. At just eighty minutes runtime this is a wonderfully compact story with a great deal of intrigue and suspense. At moments it is laugh-out-loud hilarious and at tense and baffling at others. Overall, the piece will have you questioning reality and wondering exactly how much of what you have heard over the course of the evening is true.
Photo credit: John Johnston