Noni Hazlehurst has a smile that lights up a room. Or a foyer too as she did at the Q Theatre in this case when she arrived all scrubbed and shiny for the after party following her tour de force performance in Daniel Keene’s one woman show ‘Mother’. A transformation from a homeless woman living on the streets of Melbourne amongst the detritus of a society that cares little for her plight or the reasons for her descent from happiness to despair, was the premise of this play that was confronting, disturbing, profoundly sad and a lesson for us all in the dismissive attitudes we have about homeless people, those with mental health issues and alcoholics in desperate need.
Is she the victim of post natal depression, what interventions could have helped her? Why did it all disintegrate for this once loved and loving mother?
The writing is superb, the acting Hazlehurst at her best and the simplicity of the production intensifies your understanding of the skill in the direction and performance. It could be anywhere, it could be anytime. In fact Mother reminds of the early stories of hardship in the Redfern and Surry Hills of yesteryear, but it is about now. And that it was written especially for Hazlehurst is a credit to this exceptional actor we don’t see enough on stage.
The production from If Theatre& Regional Arts Victoria is a must see and continues at the Q Theatre until 1 October .