LASALLE College of the Arts
Sex and star-crossed love are domains reserved for the young… aren’t they? That’s what Maggie, a retired school teacher, has always believed. But everything Maggie had come to assume and accept about her life changes when she agrees to teach Raju, an air-con repairman, how to read.
As their relationship blossoms into an unconventional romance, those close to Maggie begin to question her behaviour, morals and choices. Nora, her best friend, claims that she no longer recognises her. Wilfred, her son, is outraged. Only Gwen, Maggie’s daughter, seems to understand, but she has secrets of her own.
A romantic comedy that puts a cheeky spin on active ageing, Helmi Yusof’s first play challenges society’s attitudes towards sex and senior citizens. Inspiring and empowering, My Mother Buys Condoms challenges audiences to re-evaluate the freedom to love for those who may no longer be young in body, but remain young at heart.
My Mother Buys Condoms was first developed for the TheatreWorks Writers Lab’s ‘Writing From The Heart’ programme in 2014.
My Mother Buys Condoms was presented by W!LD RICE as part of the Singapore Theatre Festival 2016.
CREATIVE & PRODUCTION TEAM
Written by Helmi Yusof
Directed by Ivan Heng
Set Designer Wong Chee Wai
Lighting Designer Petrina Dawn Tan
Production Manager Xu Xin'en
Stage Manager Justina Khoo
Producer Tony Trickett
Lok Meng Chue
Elnie S. Mashari
Seong Hui Xuan
“The thought of seniors sharing an intimate moment is enough to make most people turn away in embarrassment. Never mind the fact that we have a rapidly ageing population – silver-haired friskiness is a topic shrouded in cultural taboos. Arts writer Helmi Yusof’s remarkably assured debut play, presented as part of the Singapore Theatre Festival and directed by Ivan Heng, makes a powerful case against such narrow-mindedness.”TODAY
“… a scintillatingly original Singapore work which tackles ageism and sex – a subject that is often talked about in hushed, gossipy tones… It’s the small gestures that make the play, so kudos to director Ivan Heng. After the mild foreplay, the play’s climax hits the right spot before coming to a satisfying end.”The Business Times
“My Mother Buys Condoms will have teens and 20 somethings squirming in their seats. Those over 30 should smile in relief that there is life in senior citizenry… Lok’s transformation from dowdy retiree to woman in her prime is delightful to watch, as is Panicker’s bumblingly sweet courtship. Nora's role is equally well played by Elnie, and as important to the heart of the story.”The Straits Times
“My Mother Buys Condoms is a portrait of our country’s culture wars: a battle for two competing visions of the nation. Wilfred and Nora stand for a closed, conservative society, ruled by a Confucian-Protestant-Islamic code of propriety. Maggie and Gwen, on the other hand, point the way forward for a more liberal Singapore – one in which citizens may deviate from traditionally prescribed roles, so as to achieve their own definitions of happiness, prosperity and progress. This individualism isn’t necessarily anti-family.”The Online Citizen