ME AND MY MOTHER, SINGING by Oleg Pupovac.                                                                                   Photography: Roman Wolczak

Oleg Pupovac’s ME AND MY MOTHER, SINGING is a bit like sitting down with someone over a glass of wine, having a warm chat and listening to how their life was shaped by a war in their country, their experiences as a foreigner in various countries and their observations about art, basketball, terrorism, theatre and family. If your friend is like Oleg and has had has an interesting life and is a good storyteller it can be an enriching experience. Oleg has some paintings projected onto the wall and recordings of voice messages and Yugoslavian singing to enhance his stories.

Oleg’s experiences and observations are delivered in small snippets. Some of the stories touch on harrowing events but Oleg avoids going into detail and seeks refuge, or is steered into this safe haven by Kianah, offstage, in the paintings projected on the wall. The paintings are generally snow scenes by French impressionists. Snow seems to be his safe place. The program notes “perhaps the best painters paint a scene in a way that activates our imagination beyond the four corners of the frame. They invite us to consider a world much larger than their canvas.” Similarly, Oleg’s observations invite us to consider a world much larger than the individual fragments.

ME AND MY MOTHER, SINGING works well as a piece of theatre. The non-linear structure is a little disconcerting but the tableaus presented are interesting and involving. We hear of his admiration and conflicted thoughts about the basketballer, Dražen Petrović, who made it to the NBA, tourists visiting Croatia and their banal observations about extraordinary events, Russian figure skaters and also what a robust name Mustapha is. Oleg has the confidence to have his characters talk about their dislike of theatre and he is very disparaging of certain types of theatre. It is an interesting and broad ranging conversation.

Oleg is ably assisted by Kianah Marlena, officially titled as Lighting Designer and Stage Manager, but as the other half of a one man show her involvement is undoubtedly more extensive.

ME AND MY MOTHER, SINGING  from Two Peas [Facebook] has a short run at Blood Moon Theatre [Facebook]  which is well hidden inside The World Bar, Kings Cross, until 30th  August. Tickets at Trybooking.

The production is proudly supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia.