I cannot express how we all felt last Saturday as we were getting ready in the final minutes before presenting the last show of Mother’s Spice. This is what I remember:
Seconds before the audience entered the performance space at ICE, Director Sally Sussman gathered us all in a circle and made us just contemplate, breathe and exhale… Just be in the moment.
Nasrin interrupts: “What’s this Are we preparing for a war !”. Laughter broke the silence and our nerves relaxed.
“Khala Adeeba, are you ready ” I asked.
“Yes, habibi let them in, Ahlan Wa Sahlan (welcome in Arabic),” she reassured me as she confidently walked over to her spot and poured herself a hot cup of green tea that she sipped throughout the performance. It’s a healthy option she tells me.
“Yamane are you ready ”
“Yes,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. I wondered what other surprising addition she had for the night’s segment, chatting to Khala Adeeba while they rolled the dolma. She kept us on our toes each performance as she squeezed new lines into her conversation with Khala before she hit her cue (to the relief of video artist Marian Abboud and Production Manager Frank Mainoo).
“Nisha and Keona are you ready ”
“Yes, we are”. I made a mental note to remember this time to bring out the lovely 4-year-old Keona at the end of the performance so she could curtsy with her mum. She complained earlier that it wasn’t fair that she didn’t get any applause from the audience during last week’s performance. How amateurish of me. Point taken Keona.
The audience walked in and the one-hour performance flew by, ending with a celebration of delicacies and dishes we will savour forever.
That evening couldn’t have been better timing for our final show as both Khala Adeeba and Nasrin were getting ready to celebrate Palm Sunday and Nawrouz festival, two important dates for their faiths, intrinsic to their lives as well as their stories in Mother’s Spice. Life was a continuum of the art they had created.
And that is what I’ll carry with me fondly from Mother’s Spice. It was an inspired creative moment we all lived, born out of the rich stories of real, amazing women who continue to lead their lives in the Western suburbs of Sydney.
Words by Eddie Abd, Creative Producer, Mother’s Spice.
Images by Andres Bustamante.