Mother and son…and the rest of the family! - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Photos: Supplied.

“I’ve always been a fan of the TV series, and as soon as I read the script, I knew I just had to do the play. It just grabbed me.”

Tackling the stage play of Mother and Son was an immediate decision for Theatre Redlands director Raymond Noonan, despite knowing that there would be audience temptations to compare a stage production with the well-loved TV series based on a dutiful, long-suffering son who lives with his increasingly forgetful mother.

“It’s inevitable that some people will think back to the original productions, but my vision has always been to create our own characters. That’s how I’ve guided the cast, and it’s working beautifully; they’re zinging along, bouncing off each other and creating something refreshingly new. If we, as a collective, have done our job properly the audience will roll along with us.”

The play will be presented as Theatre Redland’s Queensland Day offering, and Raymond sees it as a perfect fit.

“It’s an iconic Australian creation; the characters are earthy and real – they could be the folk next door. It’s a fun script, and while much of the comedy hangs on Maggie’s confused concepts, it’s not cruel; we’re never laughing at her, we’re laughing at the situations that all of us get into at times. It’s classic sit-com material.”

Casting the show was demanding; Ray says that Libby Harrison, who plays Maggie, is in such high demand that it was necessary to engage her twelve months in advance. The next challenge was to find an actor of equal strength to play opposite her in the role of Arthur – and an appropriate actor to play Arthur’s brother Robert.

“It was a bit of a juggle,” Raymond says, “but it’s come together beautifully. I’d originally expected Maggie to be the star, but as rehearsals progressed, it became clear that she and Arthur rate equal billing.

“I was also fortunate in casting Arthur’s brother – the two actors have worked in shows together, and the naturalness of their relationship makes my job as a director so much easier – except for occasional confusion at rehearsals; ironically, they’re both called Trevor.”

The stage play, written by the author of the TV series, Geoffrey Atherden, is classic Mother and Son fare. Arthur has fallen in love and is off for three weeks of stolen bliss with Anita, having shamed his opportunistic brother and super-snob sister-in-law into looking after Maggie while he’s away. What could go wrong? What, indeed…

Mother and Son will play weekends at Redland Museum from May 31 to June 9. For more information or bookings call 3286 3494 or visit

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