Mother May I? written by Ranae von Meding – Review by Frank L
Ranae von Meding acts the sole part which is that of a young female who was brought up somewhere in the bible belt of the USA by a widowed mother, as the youngest of six children. The Mother had a serious dose of “religion”. The play begins with von Meding informing the audience that of the world’s estimated population of 6.9 billion, 84% identify with religion. A mere 2% are atheist and that is a “tiny” percentage, in fact it is “ dangerous”, “terrifying”. Her mother firmly belonged in the Christian percentage and was a committed believer. She was determined that her youngest daughter would be another Christian. But the daughter did not believe and that leads her into emotional turmoil which manifests itself in the form of bulimia. Bulimia is a disorder for which she quotes worrying statistics as to its prevalence. She compares and contrasts the two obsessive states. In doing so, she has a particular contempt for the condescending Christian who states to an unbeliever “I will pray for you”.
One Audrey Rooney designed the set which is an eye catching cruciform of four blocks of seventy five pint glasses, some filled with water, which create the outline of a cross. It covers almost the entire stage. It has a certain magnificent fragility as the daughter moves along the four branches of the cross. As she does so, she reads occasionally from one book both biblical statements and statements about bulimia which underlines the intertwining of the obsessions which imprison her.
Von Meding succeeds in making the Christian religion and bulimia a fractious pair of unlikely bedfellows. It is a strange coupling. Food for thought.
Mother, May I? at Theatre Upstairs
DATES / TIMES:
24 March 2015 – 04 April 2015
Tuesday – Saturday @ 1PM
(24 Mar – 28 Mar / 31 Mar – 04 Apr)
Thursday – Saturday @ 7PM
(26 Mar – 26 Mar / 02 Apr – 04 Apr)
Cast + Creatives
Ranae Von Meding / CLAIRE
Writer / Ranae Von Meding
Director / Steve Gunny
Set Design / Audrey Rooney
Lighting Design / Colm Eaton
Visual Design / Al Craig & Emma-Jane Reilly