Dureshawar Khan weaves a mesmerizingly rich tapestry that embraces the very essence of migrant motherhood and more with MoR. 4 Stars!
Third Culture Kids are a multicultural, multilingual and multidisciplinary collective of artists from Perth. They believe in the power of theatre to bridge cultural divides, choosing to tell stories that might otherwise be ignored, forgotten or silenced.
Following their critically acclaimed 2019 show Sharbat, Third Culture Kids are back with MoR, created by and starring Dureshawar Khan. Originally planned to open in August 2020 before Covid hit, MoR finally opened last night at The Blue Room Theatre.
This one woman debut show explores the liminal space between two places: the “middle of the road”. This is not art v science, east v west, or mother v father; rather an exploration of that third space in between.
Through storytelling, spoken word poetry and science experiments, Khan lovingly shares stories and lessons of migrant motherhood – inspired by her own mother’s story. Told in both English and Pashto, MoR is a love letter to every person we’ve ever called mum.
Khan wanted to make this show because she feels that mothers are the backbone of migrant communities.
“Mothers are often the ones that weave culture, family history and folklore into day to day affairs, keeping us tethered to our identities and ancestry. I wanted to make a show about being the daughter of an immigrant mother because I wanted to acknowledge the delicate balancing act that most “third culture” children participate in. It’s not always beautiful, poetic moments of cultural sharing over a cup of chai; there are also darker, more confusing moments where we find ourselves torn between loyalty to our mothers and self preservation; moments where we have to choose between our parent culture and our new Australian identity.”
Tapestry of Life
Even after reading the brief for MoR, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this latest offering at The Blue Room Theatre. Completely intrigued, I wasn’t convinced hubby was the right choice for my plus one. Given the context, motherhood, I normally would have taken one of my female friends. Truth be told, with our middle daughter recently flying the nest and hubby always so hands on when it comes to parenting, we’ve both been feeling her loss (albeit only a 30 minute drive away) and I was keen to have him by my side.
As I entered the foyer before crossing the stage to take my seat, the intricacy at play was not lost on me. I was completely spellbound. Transported even. There is a real devil is in the detail element with this production that provides an incredible multi-sensory experience. The set alone has a depth that is several shades of magnificent. You’ll want to take your seat early to take it all in.
Layers of complexity are then weaved in throughout the performance. The subtle aroma that hangs in the air, the lighting, the calming sound effects and the almost familiar soundtrack with a migrant twist. It’s a tantalising feast for the senses. With Khan at the forefront, weaving the piece together with her engaging storytelling and fascinating performance.
The interwoven stories fed via the screen at regular intervals interlock impressively adding a reinforcement to the piece. It’s like watching a rich tapestry evolve before your very eyes. Captivatingly clever.
From the moment I took my seat, I honestly wanted to take my reviewer cap off, pour myself a cup of tea and make myself part of the furniture for this wonderful production. In a way, I kind of felt that happened. Over the course of an hour, Khan took me to such a wonderful time and place, I didn’t want to leave that poetic space.
Completely mesmerized from start to finish, I walked away from this touching production almost lost for words, craving silence (and a cuppa), thinking a lot about my migrant father and grandparents, as well as my own experiences as a mother and keen to share this intense and enveloping piece with all my friends.
As expected, hubby had a completely different experience to myself but was more than impressed all the same. So, I wouldn’t rule out taking your male friends to this one. I’d actually encourage it.
With such a limited season, I would snap up tickets as soon as you can for this phenomenal production.
The Blue Room Theatre
18 May – 5 June 2021
Tickets $20 – $30 blueroom.org.au