Mothering Sunday

By Stuart Neale


Four girls discuss the problems of Mums, but find that the solution isn't quite what they expected.



Verity: My Mum's getting to be a pain. She won't let me go to the school disco tonight.

Catherine: Why not?

Verity: She says that my history project's late and I have to get it in tomorrow.

Catherine: That project should have been handed in weeks ago!

Verity: That's not the point! Mums shouldn't interfere.

Becky: Yeah, you're right. And I'm not going to the disco 'cos Mum won't let me wear that new outfit I bought on Saturday.

Catherine: Not that one with the short skirt and the....

Becky: Yeah, that one, she said I made Geri Halliwell look overdressed.

Catherine: Well it is a little , er.. provocative.

Becky: That's not the point! Mums shouldn't interfere!

Sophie: I can't go either, Mum insists that she'll give me a lift to school for the disco, she'll stay to help with the food, and then, she'll take me home.

Catherine: That's very thoughtful.

Sophie: That's not the point, I want to be with my friends. Mums shouldn't interfere.

Verity: I sometimes wish I could custom build a Mum to fulfil my personal requirements.

General Sec: After a long meeting of our Union's Executive, and a full ballot of all our membership, The Mothers Union now has a clear mandate for industrial action, and a withdrawal of our labour.

Union reps: Hear, hear, brother.

Reporter: Won't this completely disrupt all family life.

Convenor: It is not the intention of the Mothers Union to cause unnecessary suffering, and in the event that negotiations to settle this dispute break down and we have to call a strike, we shall allow all emergency services to function normally.

Reporter: What are the Union's demands?

3rd Union Rep: Our Union expects us to be fully appreciated for all our work in the community, and for our great contribution to the welfare of the country.

Gen Sec: It is not an easy step for us in the Mother's Union to recommend strike action, but in the Mother's Union we do some times have to take a stand.

Union reps: Hear hear, brother/sister.

Convenor: What do we want?

All: Respect

3rd union Rep: When do we want it ?

All: Now

Stephanie: Tired of your family members? Feel like a change of face?

2nd advert: Put your confidence in Franck and Stein, genetic engineers for nearly 400 years. Franck and Stein use state of the art Genome technology to provide you with a perfect human being,

Stephanie: We have easy payment terms , and hundreds of satisfied customers.

2nd Advert: As a special introductory offer we have a Spring Special to bring you the mother of your dreams. so phone Franck and Stein for the perfect mother and we can make your dreams come true.

Verity: Did you hear that advert on the radio this morning for the mother of your dreams?

Catherine: Yeah, it sounded weird, something like Stein and Frank.

Becky: Look! isn't that it there:- “Franck and Stein, Genetic Engineers, Established Transylvania 1632. Making your dreams a reality.”

Sophie: I don't like the sound of this.

Verity: Oh, come on, let's go inside and see what's on offer.

Franck: Good morning ladies, my name is Mr Franck.

Stein: And I am Mr Stein.

Franck: How can we be of assistance? As genetic engineers nothing is impossible for us.

Stein: We have some new lines that may interest you; broccoli that tastes of chocolate ...

Franck: Square potatoes to make easy chips....

Stein: Special gymnastic lettuces.

Catherine: What good are gymnastic lettuces?

Stein: Dear lady, it's obvious; if you add the gymnastic lettuce to tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion and peppers, with a drizzle of olive oil, and you have a salad that tosses itself.

Franck: Or have you lovely ladies come in for our Spring Special, your own genetically engineered mother?

Becky: Yes, we have actually, but before we choose the perfect mother, we'd like some idea of prices and styles.

Franck: Of course. Igor!

Igor: Yes, marthter.

Franck: The catalogue, Igor!

Igor: Thraight away, marthter. (Igor lurches off and brings back the catalogue)

Franck: Is there any particular problem you would wish us to address, dear lady.

Verity: My present Mum insists that I do my homework, when I just want to chill out with my friends.

Franck: Let me look in the catalogue, ah, here is one mother that we can engineer for you. We call this model the Deirdre.

Stein: Igor!

Igor: Yes marthter

Stein: Bring in a Deirdre for these young ladies.

Igor: Thertainly, Marthter.

Franck: Ah, Deirdre, these young ladies are interested in a mother that will not insist on homework, what's your view?

Deirdre: Oh, Chuck, you wouldn't have to worry about homework if I was your mother. Never did me any good.... I never did any anyway. But we'd have a great time you and me. I'm out most nights, and as long as we've enough cash for ciggies and the lottery we'll be great. School work, you can throw it away. What do you say?

Verity: She's not quite what I expected. My Mum wants me to make the most of myself and get good exams.

Deirdre: Eh up, chuck, if you pass exams, you'll only have to work for a living. Hard work just tires me out. Just stick me in front of the telly and that's all I want, isn't that what you want?

Verity: Not really, no.

Stein: Oh dear. Put her away, Igor.

Igor: Yes, marthter.

Becky: I'm looking for a mother who'll not complain about how I look, my make up, the rings in my nose, the dye in my hair or the clothes that I wear.

Stein: Ah yes, we have a fashion guru here in our catalogue. Igor, bring out a Patsy.

Igor: Yes, marthter.

Patsy: Dahhling...Oh we could be so good for each other, you'd look vivacious in Versace, and I'm so chic in Chanel, we'd make the perfect couple, we could go to all the fashion shows together.

Becky: That's great, and in the evenings we could look at all the fashion magazines together.

Patsy: Evening, evening? Oh, but Dahling, I'm a night bird, I'm never at home the evenings, it's so bourgeois. And I'm so involved with my new toyboy Gerard, he's such a dear, now you wouldn't expect me to interrupt my life for you, now would you?

Becky: Well, my Mum is always putting herself out for me.

Stein: Put Patsy away, Igor.

Igor: Yes, marthter.

Franck: And you, young lady, what do you want?

Sophie: I want a mother who's not completely wrapped up in everything I do.

Stein: I think we have one here, “Industrial superwoman”, Igor, bring out a Nicola.

Igor: Yes, marthter.

Franck: Now what can you offer this young lady who wants less over parenting?

Victoria: We can be very good for each other, but let me first check my electronic organiser. Hmm, I'm addressing the International Association in Paris on Monday and Tuesday, I'm then in New York for two days for a Convention, and at the weekend, I'm at a company seminar at a Ranch in Texas.

Sophie: Oh wow, Paris, New York, Texas, That's fantastic. I've always wanted to see Texas.

Victoria: I'm sorry, I'm not taking you; this is business. You'll stay at home. But don't worry, I'll make arrangements for you. Cook will come in every evening to give you a meal; the housekeeper will ensure you have clean clothes; I'll book you into an activity centre for the weekend, and I can see you between 5 and 6 a week on Tuesday, then I'm out to dinner with the PM at 7.30. Does that give you enough freedom?

Sophie: That's not what I expected at all.

Franck: Take her away , Igor,

Igor: At once, Marthter.

Catherine: You're stupid, all three of you. We're all different, and all our Mums are different, but what we all want is for our Mums to love us and care for us.

Franck: I'm afraid that this sort of mother cannot be created; it's something that happens naturally.

Stein: We'll keep experimenting, and when we can engineer a perfect Mum, we'll make a fortune.

Franck: To help us, give me the formula for a perfect Mum.

Verity: Well, something like my Mum,

Catherine: And mine,

Becky: And mine,

Sophie: And mine too.

Stein: So, what about your complaints about homework.

Franck: And makeup and clothes.

Stein: And taking an interest in you?

Verity: It's only cos my Mum loves me that she takes such an interest.

Franck: You could do with a special day every year to celebrate your mother,

Catherine: We already do. It's called Mothering Sunday. I think we'd better go and leave you here and we can celebrate Mothering Sunday properly.

Convener: We have now received proposals to settle this dispute which involves properly respecting the work that we do.

3rd Union man: Accordingly, we will recommend to our members that we accept the proposals:-

1. tokens of esteem for our efforts, and

2. a day set aside to honour the work of mothers.

Gen Sec: We are therefore pleased to announce that the Mothers Union withdraws its threat of industrial action, is pleased to accept the proposals, and resumes normal family relationships forthwith.


© Copyright Stuart Neale, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entry. In return for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified when a performance is held. He may be contacted at: