Review: Flowers from my mother’s garden
Two women talk about their lives. Their childhoods. Their relationship with their parents. Their OE’s. Their, erm, escapades. Their uncles and aunts. They are mother and daughter.
A table, a couple of stools, a slideshow projector, and a screen with photos projected onto it provide the backdrop for Kate and Miranda Harcourt to tell the stories from their lives. It’s not necessarily the truth – it’s the truth as they remember it. Sometimes the truth is supported by recordings. Sometimes it’s murkier than that.
Most of the action takes place around the central table. My favourite scenes are the ones where they break from that. There’s a stylish radio play that sets out the story of Kate’s Australian side of the family. There’s another story in Australia concerning Miranda and a bit where she doesn’t say anything, only reacts. It shows the mischief that she must have got up to.
It’s deceptively simple, this storytelling. A lot of ground is covered. Recurring themes rise and fall and morph into other things. The stories are cleverly woven together so we hear the experience of different generations in the same place. It’s lovely and funny, with a heartbreaking finish.
- Kate + Miranda Harcourt’s Flowers from my mother’s garden by Stuart McKenzie on at Downstage to 29 September 2012