Motherhood the Musical brings barrel loads of laughter – and tears – to the Glasshouse this month, in a production that celebrates the joyful (and not so joyful) moments of being a mum. Actor Jacquie Hoy plays Trisha – a mother struggling with single parenthood …
Hi Jacquie. What’s your background as an actor?
I’ve been a singer and actor for the last ten years. I’ve done a lot of regional touring, which I really enjoy – predominantly in children’s theatre.
I did Wombat Stew and Possum Magic – which came and visited you in Port Macquarie last year.
And now this year I’ve moved on to entertaining the grownups!
If you had to describe Motherhood the Musical in a nutshell, what would you say it’s about?
It’s about the ups and downs that are the greatest joy of being a mum! It’s a real celebration of all it means to be a mum – and sometimes that’s hard work. Sometimes it’s stressful, and sometimes it’s the most wonderful thing you can possibly imagine. I think the show touches on all of those things.
What are some of the themes you believe the show explores?
Frustration! I think we look a lot at expectations versus reality, because the premise of the show is that the younger member of our group of friends is having her first baby and is quite idealistic about what’s going to happen.
The other three of us have several children between us and are at different stages of our life, so we have a much broader view of what motherhood entails.
My character, in particular, is coming to terms with being a single mum, because she’s just separated from her husband.
But, there’s a lot of joy. It’s not a show about, “Poor us – we all work so hard!” It’s a fun look at the ups and downs of nappies, and ferrying kids here and there and balancing this with you, still being you.
Speaking of your character, Trisha, what’s she like?
Trisha has 3 kids, and she’s been at home with them for most of their lives. She has just recently become separated, so she’s learning to juggle a whole other set of situations.
She really relies on the friendship of the other girls – even though they’re quite different from her in many ways. The fact that they all have kids is what binds them together, and I feel that she deals with her stress with humour. She’s a bit like, “You have to laugh about it, or you’ll cry”.
She’s very concerned that her friend Amy has a positive baby shower, despite everything that’s going on. She’s a really fun character to play – I really enjoy it.
How have you enjoyed being a part of the production so far?
It’s hilarious. It’s really very special. We’ve had some lovely conversations with women who’ve spoken to us afterwards – and men, for that matter – who have said they’re happy their stories have been told.
They were able to laugh at themselves and know that they’re not alone. That’s such a special thing – for an actor to be a part of something like that.
There are 20 songs, there’s singing, dancing, laughing – a few little tears – so it’s pretty much the best job. We’re really lucky! And we get to visit lovely places like Port Macquarie!
You’ve mentioned the feedback you’re received from audiences. You’d expect women to relate well to the show – but what exactly are the male members of the audience expressing?
We’ve had a lot of people tell us they’ve been “dragged along”, but they’ve really enjoyed it.
A lot of my younger, male single friends have told me it made them want to call their mum!
And that’s the other side of this – we all have a mum! There’s a lot of humour in the fact that sometimes it is hard to get her off the phone, but we wouldn’t be without her for anything in the world.
Interview by Jo Atkins.