Plans to stage comedy based on sad event

00:27, Dec 07 2012
Alison Quigan's play Mum's Choir - based on her experience after the death of her mother in 2001 - is coming to the Invercargill Repertory Society Theatre next April.

Auditions will be held next week for a comedy written by playwright and former Shortand Street actress Alison Quigan.

Mum's Choir, a play based on Quigan's own family in Palmerston North, is coming to the Invercargill Repertory Society Theatre in April.

Society director Jonathan Tucker said the play was ideal for Invercargill but would probably require a little bit of brushing up on singing skills.

He was confident the cast would be found, judging by the talent seen in Invercargill this year, he said.

The play premiered in Palmerston North in 2004, and was based on the experiences of Quigan's family in the aftermath of her mother's death.

The story begins with five family members gathering in a home to honour a matriarch's request to have all her favourite songs performed at her wake.


This includes mastering Faure's Requiem.

While "Mum" presides in a coffin on stage, tensions between the siblings bubble to the surface as the songs and alcohol flow.

Quigan - who played hospital receptionist Yvonne on Shortland Street - wrote in her introduction to the play that her experience after her mother's death was intense, with lots of crying and laughing. She wanted to convey this in the comedy, she says.

It has since gone on to be a home-grown favourite on stages around New Zealand.

Mr Tucker said Dunedin's Fortune Theatre performance of the play in 2009 ranked in the top five of the many plays he had seen in the last 50 years.

Auditions will be held at Repertory House on Monday, December 17 at 7pm.

Mum's Choir will be performed from April 6 to 13.

The Southland Times