The programme came with instructions on how to fold it into an origami cat and that was quite useful when I was feeling fidgety before the show which started about 15 minutes late.
There were a few young kids in the audience and I thought that was rather strange because some parts of the performance were definitely not kid-friendly. But to their credit, the kids were very well-behaved and I was mainly distracted by one of the mothers seated next to me who was translating the Hokkien dialogue and whispering it to her daughter.
Even though it’s been 24 years since the play was written, the issues are still extremely relevant today and the performance was emotionally intense. I was particularly drawn in by the scenes of mother-child relationships that were performed as a game by Mama’s children. I could definitely relate to the scene where one of the children tried to sneak off for church on a Sunday morning and ended up in a religious debate with her Buddhist mother.
Some other scenes made me feel guilty about how I’ve been getting irritated with my grandmother very easily these days. Mama’s isolation was very real and her despair in the closing scene was discomfiting indeed. I haven’t had the chance to watch any other productions of Mama Looking For Her Cat but I have to say that Paper Monkey Theatre’s version was pretty good.