NSA Patron Talks Up Sons & Mothers

Kelly Vincent MLC and patron of No Strings Attached.

Kelly Vincent MLC and patron of No Strings Attached.

Today our documentary SONS & mothers was mentioned as a Matter of Interest in South Australian parliament by No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability Patron Kelly Vincent MLC.

Here is what she said.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT (15:35): Today I would like to speak about an exciting upcoming event of importance to both the Adelaide arts and disability communities. Members may recall the multi-award winning stage production by No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, Sons and Mothers, which first appeared in the 2012 Fringe Festival to wide acclaim. The cast is comprised of the men’s ensemble of No Strings Attached and each of these men use the show to write a love letter to their own mother. For some of them the relationship with their mother may be the most intimate or the most tumultuous they have ever known.

Members are probably aware that the production is returning to Adelaide this month, and I want to make sure that they are also aware of the accompanying documentary, which will be making its world premiere on 20 October 20 as part of the Adelaide Film Festival. The documentary, produced by local company POP Pictures, follows each of the seven men of the men’s ensemble, plus writer/director Alirio Zavarce, throughout the development of the production as they share with each other and with the audience the tales of how they met their mothers. Some mothers have passed on, others are still full or part-time carers for their son’s and all make their presence felt as their sons lay bare the way in which these women have shaped their paths. Some of the surviving mothers also share candid accounts of the challenges and joys of raising a child with a disability.

Some of the sons we meet throughout the documentary include the gentle giant and part-time punk, Ryan; the theatre-mad Kym; the ethereal dancer, Ricky; the class clown, Damien; and the musically gifted Abner, who says:

My mother was a radical feminist separatist lesbian before her father died, and she never did explain to me why she divorced my dad, but I guess it was because she was a separatist lesbian.

Others include the concise and witty Duncan, and Ben who, when asked the question ‘What makes a woman a mother?’, gives a response that is at once subtle and profound: ‘She just is.’ We also gain insight into the life of writer/director Alirio who returned to his native Venezuela in 2004 so that his mother, who had cancer, could die in his arms. It would be upon his return to Adelaide that he would begin work on this production.

As members can see, this documentary offers up a wide range of personalities and experiences to be enjoyed. I would like to thank the men’s ensemble for being so willing to share so much of their lives throughout this project and, in particular, I would like to thank producer Louise Pascale and director Chris Houghton for their respect in allowing the sons and the mothers to tell their own stories for, as anyone who like me has already seen the film can tell you, they do that very well.

Following the screening of the documentary, I, as patron of No Strings Attached, will be moderating a panel discussion about the role and place of disability arts with some very accomplished panel members, both local and imported. These include local theatre designer Gaelle Mellis; UK-born writer and performer Julie McNamara; and Sam Charles and Matthew Wauchtope of the Sit Down and Shut Up Film Festival.

This promises to be an engaging, emotional and thought-provoking afternoon of cinema and discussion for which I hope members would join us. Tickets, including access to the panel discussion, are just $18 full price or $14 concession. I hope to see all members there with the film screening starting at noon on Sunday 20 October at the Regal Cinema. This will be the only screening at this time, so I hope members will make an effort to attend. For further details, of course, members can see the Adelaide Film Festival program or website, and I hope to see all members there at this very important and exciting event.

Educating Change

When we read that Australians living with a disability were most likely to live in poverty than any other OECD country we were appalled. How could a country so rich allow this to happen to its own?

Thankfully that report ignited change and today we have Disability Care. But providing care is one thing, changing how we view disability is another. When we set out to make SONS & mothers we were committed to changing people’s perceptions. When we watch the film we think we have done that.

This month we are launching SONS & mothers at the Adelaide Film Festival and we will soon find out how close we have come.

When you have entrenched views about something it can be hard to change that. Especially when you are older and it is a view you have held for most of your life. But the younger you are the easier it is. That’s why we are passionate about educating young people about the work of the Men’s Ensemble and SONS & mothers.

During our three week season at the Trak cinema we are  offering a special ‘schools season’. This gives schools the opportunity to see the film just after having experienced the stage show.

Coupled with this is our newly launched Study Guide created by ATOM. This gives teachers and students the chance to look at the work in a holistic way, from inception to the end piece.

Our study guide explores the creative process as well as views on disability.

You can find out more about our screenings here.

Hitting the airwaves

radio image

On Saturday Louise hit the airwaves talking about Son & mothers on Radio Adelaide’s Behind the Screens.

Focussing on the local films in the festival Louise was interviewed by Rebecca and Jordan.  She shared the background story of how the documentary came to be and what she discovered working with No Strings Attached.

If you missed it, you can catch it right here.




SONS & mothers is launching its Trak season with an Australian Premiere at the 2013 Adelaide Film Festival.

With two screenings over the ten day festival, the Adelaide Film Festival will also be the beginning of a 3 week season at the boutique cinema on Greenhill Road. The Adelaide season of SONS & mothers also coincides with the restaging of the theatre show by the same name.

SONS & mothers the documentary gives unique access to what happened behind closed doors to make A remarkable piece of theatre from the seed of an idea to a fully realised play. Immediately observing the troupe from the first day of rehearsal to opening night, it took out multiple awards at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival. We are so pleased the show and documentary can now be seen side by side.

“We are also excited to be a part of the Adelaide Film Festival again,” says Producer Louise Pascale.

“This is the second film Christopher and I have made together, and it’s our second premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival.  We’re really excited.”

And as our experience has shown; “nothing beats a home town premiere.”

For bookings and screening details click here.

The Hero Shot


October is looking to be a big month for Sons & Mothers.

While we can’t give too much away, look out at the end of the month for an announcement of our Australian Premiere. In the meantime we are busy getting all our marketing material together.

How do you represent seven men in one poster? It’s a question we have been grappling with for months and months.

At the Estonian Hall

We think we found the answer and here are some happy snaps from a photo shoot we had last weekend.

Rain's pic of Rock God

Held at the Estonian Hall – Duncan, Kym, Ryan and Ben came together to work under a new Director, our very own Christopher Houghton.  As the absolute professionals they are, they were patient and produced the goods. Watch this space to see the fruits of their labour.

This WayGetting the Band Back TogetherAnd a bit forward

We have also been working with the Adelaide Festival Centre and Windmill Productions on promoting the documentary with the theatre show.  And we’d like to thank our dear friend Jennifer Greer-Holmes for coming on board and giving us a hand.

To keep up to date with Sons & Mothers sign up here to join our mailing list.

Sons & Mothers on Local Release

Kym waving

To coincide with the re-staging of Sons & Mothers the stage show at The Adelaide Festival Centre, our documentary will be shown at local art house cinema The Trak for three weeks in October to November.

From Monday 21 October you can catch daily screenings of Sons & Mothers the documentary. This is a unique opportunity for Adelaide audiences as they get to go behind the scenes are see what went on to create this award winning show.

The Trak Cinemas will also be screening Sons & Mothers daily from Monday 28 October to Friday 1November at 10:30am in a special schools season. Students are $9.50 with teachers and carers free.

For bookings please call The Trak on (08) 8332 8020.

You can also download the study guide at http://www.metromagazine.com.au/studyguides/study.asp from Monday 23 September.

To keep up to date on the documentary please sign up here


First Week Out

Ryan, a Son, and Christopher Houghton (director) at the cast and crew screening

Sons & Mothers has just left the edit suite and has already had a big week out.

Last Saturday on the 20th October we staged a private screening for the cast and crew. Seeing our film with the most important audience it will ever have is both exciting and tense. Needless to say we did have our nervous moments.

After all these months locked away in the edit suite it was amazing to see the film with its first real audience. The response was overwhelming; tears, cheers and laughter. Nothing beats seeing the film on a big screen.

Louise Pascale (producer) talks at Kumuwuki

Exactly one week later, Pop took the stage at Kumuwuki with PJ Rose from No Strings Attached and Alirio Zavarce, the theatre show’s director. Collectively, we presented Sons & Mothers as a stage show, documentary and discussed plans for the App.

We offered a sneak peek of the film and what to expect through the App; a comprehensive package of extras including behind the scenes footage, quizzes, social engagement and educational material.

POP Rides Kumuwuki

The cast of SONS & Mothers

This year South Australia’s gorgeous seaside town Goolwa is hosting the bi-annual Regional Arts Conference, Kumuwuki. POP, along with No Strings Attached (NSA) is presenting a session on Sons & Mothers.
With NSA we will talk about Sons & Mothers, the play, the documentary and online. This is a great opportunity for us to talk about the project in a holistic way that takes audiences from stage to screen to its next incarnation, online.

Kumuwuki in their own words; “is a survey of the nation’s latest regional arts practice and thinking informing us of where we are now and indicating signposts to the future.”

We’re excited to be a part of the event and look forward to the networking, exchanging of ideas and experiencing some of the nation’s best work from regional artists, organisations and communities.

Our session is at 11:30 on Saturday 20 October and you can book here.