Keeping mum - that's not the word

Mum's The Word at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe last nightFORGET all the books, literature and advice on parenting - if you're seeking a comprehensive guide to motherhood, Mum's The Word is it.

Mum's The Word at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe last night

FORGET all the books, literature and advice on parenting - if you're seeking a comprehensive guide to motherhood, Mum's The Word is it.

It's traumas, joys, pains, heartaches, heart-warming moments, problems, loves and laughter (and plenty of it) are all packaged neatly into this one show. It's a tale of raising kids written and performed by mothers – and it's hilarious.

Last night at the Spa it was an enlightening experience for the mothers, fathers and children in the audience alike and they lapped it up. They were in raptures of laughter and applause from beginning to end as side-splitting monologues and hysterical sketches followed each other seamlessly.

From sleepless nights to nappy buckets with a mind of their own, giving birth to the loss of personal hygiene, vomit and food stained clothing to whining kids, dangers in the home to the problems of taking kids out – no parental stone was left unturned.

It was a portrayal of how the angelic faces of youngsters hide the devil within and of how, as Beverley Callard's character to put it, mums can wake up as Mary Poppins and go to be as Cruella DeVille.

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But this wasn't merely a show about wise cracks, one liners and humorous anecdotes – although there were more than enough to keep the audience in stitches. It also offered a touching and moving insight into the moments of parenting that cannot fail to tug at the heartstrings – bonding, premature births, the strains on marriage and falling in love.

The set was simple and bar a flash and a burst of streamers there were no special effects. This was a show about the words, the meanings and the fantastic performances.

Beverley Callard (Coronation Street), Julia Watson (Casualty), Polly Sands (standing in for an ill Tina Malone), Carole Anders, Anna Healy and Polly Highton all had the audience in a trance and rolling in the aisles. And special mention should go to Polly Highton who braved the glare of several hundred pairs of eyes and twice ran naked across the stage.

This is without doubt one of the funniest shows around and will give even the best stand-up comic a run for his or her money. Only those with a sense of humour bypass will have failed to laugh.

Mum may be the word, but this is a show well worth shouting about.

Jo Macdonald.

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