MY MOTHER AND OTHER CATASTROPHES
by Rivka Hartman
5 - 22 June 2019
8pm Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat
$35 full | $30 concession | $26 preview & cheap Wed
Director Julie Baz Designer David Jeffrey
Cast Isabel Kratz, Zara Paternoster, Kate Rutherford, Paul Whiddon, Jacqui Wilson
GOLD AWGIE award-winning writer RIVKA HARTMAN
The war is over but the battle continues.
MY MOTHER AND OTHER CATASTROPHES is a profoundly moving comedy featuring four generations of Jewish Australian women and the men in their lives. Each of the women battle the catastrophes of their mother/daughter relationships and their own demons as they navigate their way through life. Shifting between time periods from present day dating back to WWII, MY MOTHER AND OTHER CATASTROPHES is a very personal and very funnyinsight into the lingering impact of war on the generations that follow.
Family matriarch Gitl Silverstein is 117 years old, a survivor and dominating scold, undiminished by suffering and her hopeless, dysfunctional progeny. Gitl’s daughter Miriam - a vapid, free-loving, hippie filmmaker - marries Morris, a meek, sorrowing ‘schlemiel’ and would-be rock star. Their daughter Sandalwood becomes a drug-addicted stand-up comic who is forever falling down mid-performance, picking up strays in rehab and transmuting family pain into wisecracks. The story circles round the mystery of Dvorah, Gitl’s dead daughter, about whom she never, ever talks. When we finally hear what happened, we begin to understand what makes a genial monster like Gitl both immense and incurable. She is the stuff of legend, magnetic, bossy, stoic, a living wound, well into her second century, determined the story must continue, the traditions must be maintained.
The play had a series of successful readings in 2015 at The Jewish Museum, Glebebooks and at the Holocaust Film Festival in Melbourne.
Rivka Hartman began her career as a playwright and director at La Mama, in Melbourne in the1970s. She was part of the inaugural year of the Screenwriting Course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School after which she worked as a film and television writer, and film director. Her film credits include THE MINISKIRTED DYNAMO - Writer & Director (Gold Awgie winner) and A MOST ATTRACTIVE MAN – Director (AFI Award Best Short Fiction). Her most recent plays include WANTING (Writer & Director ) 2013 staged at Friend In Hand Hotel Glebe, Randwick Labour Club and St Lukes Mosman, LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU (Writer & Director) 2016 produced at The Depot Theatre in Marrickville, and 2018 GIVING UP THE GHOST (Writer & Director) at Limelight Theatre in Darlinghurst.
The late critic and director Bob Ellis has praised Hartman’s previous plays for their “comedic sense as delightful as that of Tom Stoppard in The Real Thing".
Patina Productions curates, develops and supports the plays and musicals presented in at Limelight on Oxford. They collaborate with both emerging and seasoned indie creatives who demonstrate the commitment, capacity and enthusiasm required to stage world class indie shows.