All About My Mother A play by Samuel Adamson, based on the film by Pedro Almodovar
21st – 24th November inclusive, 7:30pm Assembly Roxy
Tickets £10 advance, £12 on the door
“To all actresses who have played actresses. To all women who act. To men who act and become women. To all the people who want to be mothers.”
Pedro Almodovar, to the audience of All About My Mother
In Barcelona, Manuela makes a new life for herself after the death of her son, working on a stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire. She is reunited with an old transgender friend, Agrado, who she finds working as a prostitute, and makes new friends in the shape of Rosa, a terminally ill young nun, and Huma Rojo, the famous and formidable grand dame stage actress whom her late son idolised.
As Manuela rebuilds her life in a new city with a new job and new friends, her son’s estranged father returns to her life with tragic and life changing consequences for them all.
Ross Hope (Six Degrees of Separation, The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Beachy Head) returns to the EGTG director’s chair with the stage adaptation of a Spanish cult classic. All About My Mother was first performed at The Old Vic Theatre in London in 1997, and Hope’s production will be only the second since its debut, and the first in Scotland.
Hope’s last outing with EGTG was directing Beachy Head in 2016, a play which tackles the difficult topic of male suicide; and with All About My Mother he is once again broaching a subject which warrants more discussion.
“The piece is still very, very progressive even today. It portrays a world where none of the characters are defined by their sexuality or gender. And in fact in some cases that is the least interesting thing about them!”
Hope first saw the cinematic release as part of a Spanish Film Festival at the Edinburgh Filmhouse in 2000 and has been enchanted by the story ever since. Purchasing the DVD and the soundtrack along the way; after discovering the play script in 2007, Hope then started a campaign to obtain the rights for EGTG to produce it. If not always hope-ful, he was nothing if not persistent, and after three attempts over three years he was granted permission to bring the show to Edinburgh.
Hope feels incredibly privileged to be putting on this beloved piece of Spanish culture which is so important to so many people:
“As much as All About My Mother is about mothers and motherhood, it is also a story about friendship and the importance of the relationships we form ourselves and how they become our families.
“Despite the fact that All About My Mother is almost 20 years old, the issues it deals with, with regards to gender and sexuality make it painfully relevant today.”
EGTG has earned a reputation for mounting thoughtful and challenging theatre, and All About My Mother is no different, closing a year of productions which have all addressed issues of gender and womanhood in 2018. Hope is joined by a cast of seasoned Edinburgh performers, with Thomas Timms and Hilary Davies as Agrado and Huma Roja respectively, James Scott as Esteban, and Wendy Brindle as Manuela.
This amateur production of “All About My Mother” is presented by special arrangement with El Deseo S.A.
Originally produced at The Old Vic, London
by Daniel Sparrow, Neal Street Productions, The Old Vic Theatre Company, Dede Harris & DRB Productions
The Wee Review, November 2019
Thomas Timms’ Agrado being a perpetual delight to watch