Mother Courage

Back to Stratford earlier this week to see Mother Courage and her Children. I’ve seen this various production of this play over the years and was looking forward to what vision Martha Henry brought to it. Working within Brecht’s ‘deconstruction’ of theatrical artifice can produce wonderful results.

children run kids, war is coming

Mother Courage is, as you know, an allegorical figure blah blah blah – who cares, right? Regardless of the intellectual construct the play has to entertain as much as it seeks to educate. Sadly I found this more on the educational side of things.

The production is stolid, deliberate and staid. Nothing fresh has been brought to it. It’s not as if, like, say Waiting For Godot, in which every stage direction must be followed from costume to gender of cast.

redhat who needs hats in war

A few years ago MacB was set in worn torn Africa & borught something new to the text in doing so. This production is pedestrian in staging, from costumes to lighting. The songs are fine, well-sung and were the best part of the show.

The cast is excellent – Seanna McKenna brings some energy to Mother but never really connects. I know Brecht didn’t want the audience from getting caught up emotionally but there is a difference, to me, between his temporal distance and performers disinterest in their characters.

toys the war on toys

Past productions I’ve seen may have not had the high caliber of Stratford but they had more energy and faster flow. They left me satisfied. This one was like taking your medicine.


October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebow



Say It


often it seems all they have to say

is that they live to have something to say

that the word is what keeps the alive

keeps them going

that the opportunity to share the word

is a struggle worth fighting for

that this is the revolution

that the chance to be heard is innate primal

that they’d fight to the death

for the chance to say their piece

which is about

how much they need to fight to say their words


I wait for them to get beyond this point

they have an audience here

who wants to hear them

who needs to hear more

than how important this is

how hard it is to struggle

to say what has to be said

isn’t there more to be said

than how hard hard the struggle is

to say what they have to say


what the fuck do you have say

get to the point

stop dancing around gasping for air

look for something fresh to spout

instead of falling back

on the easy outs

of how pure your love for some lady is

how there are starving children

struggling to say what they got to say

maybe what they want to say is feed us

yeah we love you to give us the word

but that word doesn’t fill our stomach

doesn’t put a roof over our head

doesn’t stop the abuse by people

who shout us down

like you shout us down

with their need to be heard



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