Sons and Mothers

Sons and Mothers

18 October 2014 - 22 October 2014


Mum. One of the first words we say is the easiest but means so much.

For these six men, who, as a result of intellectual disabilities, live with their mums for most or all of their lives, the relationship with their mother is the most important human connection they have.

With heart, humour and honesty, these sons tell stories of their mothers as they recount their lives from childhood to adulthood, complete with challenges and triumphs.

These are love stories made all the more potent because of disabilities the men live with and their humble take on discrimination they’ve faced.

Sons and Mothers from No Strings Attached on Vimeo.

A No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability production written, devised and directed by Alirio Zavarce with and for the Men’s Ensemble of No Strings Attached.

Toured by Performing Lines for Road Work.

Age: 8 +


Download the SONS and mothers Study Guide.

Download the SONS and mothers Teachers Notes.


2 Reviews of Sons and Mothers

  1. Country Arts SA wrote:

    “The layers of live action and projected images are exquisitely framed.
    The setting is a metaphor for the temporal and physical impact of the
    actors’ most significant relationship, the one with their mothers.
    At the outset, a projected quote (anonymous) states that the word Mother
    is one of the first words we say and although a simple word, it is often
    a difficult concept. That is probably even more so for these six men and
    their mothers who, as a result of intellectual disabilities (or more
    aptly as a result of society’s attitudes and resources) live together for
    most or all of their lives.
    Writer, director and performer Alirio Zavarce has added himself to the
    company on stage, himself with an intellectually disabled brother, and
    works beautifully within the action to support the other actors with his
    energy, musical accompaniment and physical cues. It is clear that theirs
    is a long relationship too (fifteen years he tells us) and with Zavarce
    almost directing from within, we are also reminded of how important the
    artistic process is in not just creating rich art but in building deep
    and nurturing relationships.
    Incorporating excerpts of filmed interviews with their mothers and
    projected collages of childhood photos and memorabilia each of the son
    and mother stories are given visual texture and autobiographic richness.
    The live ‘tellings’ are all unique in their approach, sometimes as direct
    address to the audience, sometimes as dance or gesture with recorded
    voice-over, and all woven together with combinations of live and recorded
    song, music or soundscape.
    There are exquisite moments of beauty and tenderness—in particular the
    beautifully delicate dance of Ricky Samai and laugh out loud playfulness
    including an ACDC-­style heavy metal serenade and a couple of live birth
    Sons & Mothers is authentic, honest and alive. Like a live documentary, it
    unfolds on stage with a sense of unpredictability and spontaneity,
    acknowledging exactly who these people
 are and how the process of being
    involved in theatre has given them an
 opportunity to be heard and
    celebrated for being, ‘just the way they are, as we all are’.”

    ***** Dianne Reid, FringeReview

  2. Country Arts SA wrote:

    Click here to view a documentary on Sons & Mothers.
    5min 31sec

Event Details

No longer touring

Click here for other events

  • SAPower
  • toyomb
  • ABC
  • Arts South Australia Web
  • Performing lines
  • OzCo
  • No Strings Attached
  • Road Work